Early Childhood Education (Diploma)

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Program Code
Applied Community Studies
Early Childhood Education
Credential Type
Transcript Title
ECED Dipl - Special Needs
Date of First Offering
Start Term
End Term
Diploma in Early Childhood Education - Special Needs
Length of Program
Four semesters
Admissions Requirements
  • General College Admission Requirements.
  • Applicants who have completed 9 or more post-secondary credits must be in good academic standing (with a minimum GPA of 1.5) for admission to any CFCS program.
  • Students must be age 18 by December 31st of the year they enter the program.
  • Successfully participate in a formal orientation and selection process to determine suitability and readiness for training. Suitability is determined on the basis of an overview of an applicant's emotional stability, physical health, formal education, the ability to work in a team setting and life experience.
  • At the time of the required ECE Program Orientation Session two letters of reference from individuals who are not related to you (character references from reputable community members and/or individuals familiar with your experience in working with young children). Reference letters should not be written by the person who completes your volunteer verification form. If you have an ECE basic license to practice, you would complete a work history form which includes references.
  • Complete and show evidence of 50 hours of supervised volunteer or work experience in a ECE-related setting. Preferred experience: work with children from birth to age six. The 50 hours documentation of volunteer or work experience must be complete and submitted before the time of the personal suitability interview. Your readiness to enrol in the program will be determined by the faculty selection team based upon specific criteria.
  • Attend and participate in a personal interview with ECE faculty.
  • 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.

While a student may be admitted to the part-time program, course registration is dependent on seat availability.

Curriculum Framework

Semester I

Course Title Credits
CFCS 1110 Introduction to Community 3
ECED 1100 Growth and Development: Infants and Toddlers (Introduction) 3
ECED 1121 or CFCS 1160 Transforming Teaching: Observing and Documenting the Learning and Care of Infants and Toddlers 3
ECED 1122 Health, Safety and Nutrition in ECE Settings 1.5
CMNS 1110 or ENGL 1130 Workplace Writing for CFCS Academic Writing 3

* Students may take ECED 1121 or CFCS 1160 but may not receive credit for both courses.

Semester II

CFCS 1221 Wellness: Self and Professional Practice 1.5
ECED 1200 Growth and Development: Preschool Years 3
ECED 1211 Professional Growth and Communication 3
ECED 1220 Methods for Inclusive Play-Based Programs for Pre-School Children 3
ECED 1231 ECE Curriculum I 3
ECED 1282 ECE Practicum I 3.5

Semester III

ECED 2300 Growth and Development: Early School Years 3
ECED 2312 Perspectives on Families 1.5
ECED 2320 Methods for Inclusive Play-Based Programs for Young Children 3
ECED 2331 ECE Curriculum II 3
ECED 2382 ECE Practicum II 3.5
ECED 2330 Change and Development: Families 1.5

Students are required to achieve a "C" grade or better in the courses ECED 2300 and ECED 2312 before they will be permitted to register in fourth semester ECE courses.

Semester IV - Special Needs (Inclusive Practices)

CFCS 2410 Advanced Issues: Reflection and Integration 3
ECED 2412 Administrative Skills for ECE Centres 3
ECED 2401 Advanced Growth and Development 3
ECED 2450 Inclusion in Early Childhood Settings 3
ECED 2483 Demonstration Laboratory: Special Needs Project Practicum 5

Students must achieve a "C" grade or better in all fourth semester ECE courses requiring a letter grade in order to receive an ECE Diploma.

After completion of Diploma requirements, the student may return for an additional post-diploma certificate by completing the remaining Infant/Toddler courses.

Prior ECE Certification 

Douglas College students who completed their certificates under a previous model may "bridge" into the new diploma program by completing three credits of course work in each of the three areas of study shown below:

  1. CFCS 1110 Introduction to the Professional Community (3 credits)
  2. CFCS 1221 Wellness: Self and Professional Practice (1.5 credits); CFCS 1130 Change and Development: Lifespan; CFCS 1262 Community Practice: School-Based; or ECED 1100 Growth and Development: Infants and Toddlers (Intro) (3 credits)
  3. ECED 2330 Change and Development: Families; and ECED 2312 Perspectives on Families in ECE settings (1.5 Credits each)

Students may then complete the Special Needs (Inclusive Practices) courses offered in semester IV. Students with ECE Certificates from other programs should consult the Program Coordinator for advice and assistance with course planning.