What age group will I be working with?
ECE practitioners work with children under 8 years of age in the province of BC, in a variety of licensed child care and early learning programs.
What is the difference between the certificate and the diploma programs?
The certificate program is embedded in the diploma program. Students enrolled in the diploma program take three semesters of the basic diploma program and upon completion will then take the fourth semester of the post basic program. Students must have completed the basic ECE program before moving into the post basic diploma courses. Students wishing to obtain the ECE Basic certificate can do so by applying to the ECE diploma program and exiting when they have fulfilled the course requirements for the basic certificate, as per the licensing requirements.
Where can I find information about licensing requirements?
The ECED diploma program provides students with the knowledge, competencies and skills that are required to work with children under the age of 6 years in licensed early learning programs. Students in the certificate program are eligible to apply to the ECE Registry.
Please refer to the website for the British Columbia ECE registry for further information.
Where can I do my volunteer hours?
Volunteer hours are accepted if completed in a licensed early childhood program in the province of British Columbia. For suggestions of licensed programs, contact West Coast Child Care Resources and Referral.
What is a practicum?
Practicums are part of the ECE program and a requirement of licensing. Students will be placed in licensed child care centres and preschools and given assignments to complete. Students 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 license to practice.
How long will it take me to complete my program?
Full-time students can complete their diplomas in two years (4 semesters).
Part-time students can complete the program over 3 years (6 semesters).
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.
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?
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.
For further information, please see the ECE Registry website.
I have a current criminal record clearance form from my volunteer/work experience. Can I use this to fulfill my requirements for a criminal record check?
Once your admissions officer has given you a provisional acceptance into the program, you will receive by email a link to the appropriate criminal record check application. The Ministry of Justice conducts the criminal record checks.
How many students are in each class and how many hours of homework are required?
Class size is set at 32 students in the basic, post basic and infant toddler program.
Enrolling in the program requires a commitment to attendance, participation and study. The program is heavy and deadlines are taken seriously. Assignments include individual and group work within the certificate and diploma courses.
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.
Will having a disability prevent me from taking the program?
If you have a disability please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities at Douglas College: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I go for more information?
Full and Part-time program: ECE Program Advisor or 604-527-5163