Early Childhood Education: Special Needs - Inclusive Practices (Certificate)

Applied Community Studies
Early Childhood Education
Length of Program
Two semesters
Credential Type
Learning Format
Admission Type
Open Enrolment - Additional Admission Requirements


Learn to assess and guide child development, promote health and nutrition, communicate and collaborate with children and caregivers, and manage a child-care setting with the Certificate in Early Childhood Education (ECE): Special Needs and Inclusive Practices. A combination of practicum experience and theoretical material will give you the skills and knowledge to work with children from newborns to eight years old with special needs in an early childhood education setting. Plus, all courses are offered online so you can learn when it's convenient for you.

You’ll graduate qualified to apply for a provincial license to practise as a Special Needs Educator and work in provincially licensed preschool and child-care centres. This program is for certificate graduates from an accredited ECE program in B.C. who want an additional post-basic credential in ECE Special Needs. 

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements listed below:

  • General College Admission Requirements
  • Completion of Certificate-Level Early Childhood Education studies at Douglas College or equivalent post-secondary training. Provide proof of completion of an Early Childhood Education training (license).
  • An overall average of "C+" in courses completed in the ECE certificate program.
  • Submission of a work history form and two references from employers or from a former instructor and an employer. 
  • Suitability will be determined on the basis of a review of an applicant's emotional stability, physical health, formal education, work experience, ability to work in a multidisciplinary-team setting, ability to work within the values of the department and personal suitability.
  • Be age 18 by December 31st of the year you enter the program.
  • Complete a Criminal Record Check (information will be provided by the Office of the Registrar).
  • Complete a medical declaration or assessment indicating a satisfactory level of physical and emotional health. The workload of the programs and the close contact with individuals in practical settings require students to be in good mental and physical health.


You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements For Students Completing By Summer 2023:

  • Successful completion of 16.5 credits
  • 50% of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Time limit to complete program graduation requirements: four (4) years

Graduation Requirements For Students Completing After Summer 2023:

  • Successful completion of 16.5 credits
  • 50% (8 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Graduate in Good Academic Standing (Cumulative GPA of 1.50 – See Academic Performance Policy)
  • Time limit to complete program graduation requirements: four (4) years

Course Requirements:

Course Number Course Title Credits
ECED 2315 Working with Families in Early Childhood Education 1.50
ECED 2412 Administrative Skills for ECE Centres 3.00
ECED 2471 Issues and Trends in ECE 3.00
ECED 2401 Advanced Growth and Development: Individual Planning for Children with Diverse Abilities 3.00
ECED 2450 Methods for Inclusive Play-Based Programs for Children with Diverse Abilities 3.00
ECED 2455 Special Needs Preceptorship 3.00
Total Credits   16.50

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Career Pathways

Career opportunities include:

  • Special Needs Educator
  • Daycare Teacher 
  • Early Childhood Development and Education Coordinator 
  • Early Childhood Education and Toddler Instructor 
  • Early Childhood Supervisor
  • Child & Youth Worker 
  • Child Care Centre Manager 
  • Child Care Consultant
  • Child Development Facilitator 
  • Community Disability Services Worker 
  • Community Support Worker 
  • Early Childhood Educator 
  • Education Coordinator 
  • Educational Assistant Family and Community Support Worker 
  • Instructional Assistant 
  • Play School Teacher