With what age-group will I be working?
ECE practitioners work with children from birth to eight years of age. The ECE Program focuses on this age-group.
How do the full-time and part-time programs differ?
In the full-time program:
- you will take five or six courses each semester
- the first three semesters are day classes, some diploma courses are held in the evening in the fourth term
- certificate work can be completed in three semesters and diplomas completed in four semesters
- you are guaranteed a seat in each course for the first three semesters
- all courses are offered at the Coquitlam Campus
In the part-time program:
- you will take the same courses as the full-time students over a three year schedule
- courses are held in the evening or on Saturdays, during the day
- you will take approximately half of the full-time course load
- you will graduate in three to four years, depending on your course load
- all courses are offered at the Coquitlam Campus
- the entrance requirements are the same as for the full-time program
Can I receive credit for work experience?
If you have skills and knowledge that apply to early childhood education, the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Service (PLAR) can help you identify, document and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities you have acquired on the job (workplace learning) or through life experiences.
Once your learning in a particular field of study is identified and documented, you may apply to have your knowledge, skills and abilities assessed for possible academic credit.
For information on ECE PLAR contact Kathy Price, 604 527 5481, email@example.com.
Explain the work experience requirements and how they differ?
50 hours of volunteer or paid work experience
Before entering the ECE program you are required to complete 50 hours of paid or volunteer work experience with groups of children between birth and eight years of age. This requirement serves two purposes:
- It gives you the opportunity to assess your interest in pursuing this program by acquainting you with some of the realities of working in the field of early childhood education.
- It gives your work supervisor(s), through the letter of reference, an opportunity to comment on your personal suitability and potential for training in early childhood education.
500 hours of work experience
When you apply for your provincial licences after receiving your diploma, you must provide evidence of 500 hours of work experience, either paid or volunteer. Practicums do not count towards these hours. The Ministry of Children and Family Development - Child Care branch has details for early childhood educators about the work experience licence requirement.
Where can I do my work experience hours?
You can work anywhere that there are children - we want to make sure that you know what it's like to work with groups of children and are familiar with the activities, noise, stress, excitement of fun that this work entails. Your work experience can be in a parks and recreation program, a preschool, sunday school, kindergarten, family daycare or a combination of any of these.
What is a practicum?
Practicums are part of the ECE program. You'll be placed in child care centres and preschools and given assignments to complete. You are expected to practice the knowledge and skills learned in other courses, participate in a comprehensive evaluation, and will receive a (Mastery or Non-Mastery) grade at completion.
Note: practicum hours cannot be included as part of the 500 hours of work experience required of ECE graduates by the provincial government for a licence to practice.
How long will it take me to complete my program?
Full-time students can complete their diplomas in two years, while part-time students can complete the program in four years.
Students in the full-time program can also complete their certificates in less time by attending two consecutive fall semesters and one winter semester. There are limited course offerings in the summer.
Can I transfer my ECE Certificate from another post-secondary institution and complete an ECE Diploma at Douglas College?
Students with ECE Certificates from early childhood education programs approved by the Child Care branch (Ministry of Children and Family Development) can transfer 30 credits toward their Douglas College ECE Diploma.
For more information, see the Transfer Credit section of the Douglas College Calendar.
Can I get university transfer credit for my Diploma?
Your Douglas College ECE diploma will transfer to several other post-secondary institutions. See the Career Pathways tab for more detail.
What kind of work will I be eligible to do when I graduate from the program?
Certificate and Diploma graduates will be eligible to work in provincially licensed preschool and child care centres once they become Registered Early Childhood Educators.
Diploma graduates who have completed the Infant/Toddler Stream will be eligible to work in provincially licensed infant and toddler centres as Registered Infant/Toddler Educators.
Diploma graduates who have completed the Special Needs Stream will be eligible to work as Special Needs Educators.
Some of our graduates work in preschool recreation programs. Other students open Family Child Care Centres.
Can I work in child care centres before completing my Diploma?
Yes, students who have been accepted into the ECE Program and are taking courses each semester can be hired in child care centres as assistants after completion of specified courses. We strongly recommend that full time students do not work more than a few hours a week during a semester of studies.
Are graduates required to register with provincial licensing (Child Care branch of the Ministry of Children and Family Development) before working in child care centres?
Yes, completion of a program in Early Childhood Education from Douglas College is the first step in becoming a Certified Early Childhood Educator in British Columbia.
Licence requirements can be found at the Child Care branch of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Where can I go for more information?
Full & Part-time program: ECE Instructional Facilitator, Zebeen Panju, 604-527-5163 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition: PLAR Facilitator, Kathy Price, 604-527-5481, or email@example.com
Post-Basic, Re-entry students, ECE Registry referrals: ECE Program Coordinator, Kathy Price, firstname.lastname@example.org