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Promoting Healthy Practices in Early Childhood Education

Course Code: ECED 1125
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Online
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course examines the overall health, safety and nutritional needs of children while exploring early learning theory and policies as they apply to young children in early learning and care environments. Students will consider young children’s physical, social and emotional well-being through readings, discussions and critical reflection. Emphasis is placed on creating policies and procedures that promote positive habits and attitudes towards health, safety and nutrition. This course will examine wellness through a developmental approach to self awareness and professional practice. It will provide students with a framework to explore several wellness themes related to work in the field of early childhood education.

Course Content

  1. Early childhood educators promote healthy practices in the centre by developing and following health, safety and nutrition policies and procedures, modeling healthy habits, communicating with families and developing a network of community resources.
  1. Prevention and management of illness includes the implementation of effective health and hygienic practices to discourage the spread of disease, the maintenance of children’s health records and the implementation of effective health policies.
  1. Early childhood educators provide a balance between safe and challenging environments for children by paying close attention to the four components of safety promotion – staff training, physical environment, supervision of children and safety rules.
  1. Healthy nutritional practices ensure a balance between the child’s right to have control over what and how much food s/he consumes and the adult’s responsibility to provide enough food, a variety of wholesome foods and an environment that promotes healthy eating.
  1. Early childhood educators contribute to the prevention of child abuse, while recognizing and reporting suspected cases.
  1. Early childhood educators recognize and promote wellness for stakeholders including themselves, children, families, and colleagues.

Methods of Instruction


Class Discussion

Audio-visual Aids

In-class Exercises


Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College evaluation policy. An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course. This is a graded course.



Research Paper/Presentation

Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to clarify their role as an educator of health and well-being in the early learning care environment.

2. Students will be able to identify situations of abuse and bullying (physical and emotional) and will be knowledgeable on the appropriate response to given situations.

3. Students will be knowledgeable and respectful to cultural and family beliefs regarding children’s well-being and healthy development.

4. Students will be able to develop a nutrition plan for young children in early learning and care environments.

5. Students will be able to identify common children’s illnesses specifically in relation to early learning and care environments.

6. Students will be able to plan for young children’s physical movement needs to promote healthy development.

7. Students will be able to create an environment of social inclusion for all young children in an early learning and care environment.

8. Students will be sensitive to and respectful of diverse family and cultural practices.

9. Students will be able to create an environment where a sense of security, self-respect and self-regulation are nurtured.

10. Students will be able to support young children’s emotional development with specific note to children’s resilience and their ability to cope and empathize with peers. Students will develop strategies to help children develop resiliency skills.

11. Students will demonstrate appropriate communication and emotional skills to effectively work with young children in an early learning and care environment.

12. Students will encourage an early learning and care environment where children are able to build healthy relationships with both adults and peers.

13. Students will have a comprehensive understanding of safety in early learning and care environments with specific attention to Child Care Licensing Regulations.

14. Students will understand safety with groups of young children while engaged in outdoor activities.

15. Students will have a comprehensive understanding of the Canada Food Guide as it relates to young children in early learning and care environments.

16. Students will be able to develop snack and meal plans that nutritional, cultural respectful and offer diverse food choices.

17. Students will understand the role of self care: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health; balance, healthy habits, time and stress management.

18. Students will identify hazards related to burnout, compassion fatigue and over-identification with “clients”.

19. Students will advance their self awareness through recognition of personal triggers and appropriate boundaries.

20. Students will develop reflective practice tools including openness and mind flexibility; self-evaluation and creative journaling.

curriculum guidelines

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

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.