Early Childhood Education

Post-Secondary Programs
Credential Earned: Ontario College Diploma (2 Year)
Campus: Timmins, Distance
Program Length: 4 Semesters

Program Codes
A003 (PC) – Timmins Campus
A015 (CK) – Distance

Upon graduation, students will be equipped to thrive as part of a multidisciplinary team that works with infants and children up to 12 years old. You will have the opportunity to nurture learning and imagination to help these children to transition successfully to the school system.

In a dynamic group learning environment, you’ll explore how to best support a child’s growth with creative strategies that leverage their natural stages of development.

The Children’s ECE Play Lab provides students with the opportunity to design, setup, monitor and make improvements to an early years learning environment. Partnerships with local early learning centres will provide our students with the unique opportunity to work closely with young children in a controlled environment.

All students must meet the Year 1 Synergy Requirements [PDF, 308 KB] in order to be registered in the two (2) fall and two (2) winter semester courses that have an ECE Play Lab component. Students who do not meet this requirement may be withdrawn from these courses after Day 10 of the semester.


Early Childhood Education – Distance Delivery (A015)

Our Distance Early Childhood Education Program is offered fully online. The ECE distance program is synchronous, meaning, classes are scheduled at a specific day and time with an expectation of online attendance. It is important to note that some classes (i.e. Preparation for Placement, Fieldwork Placement, and Seminar) have mandatory attendance and participation requirements. A working camera and microphone are required as they allow students to participate and engage with classmates and the course material.

Though students in the Distance program will not have access to the ECE Play Lab at the Timmins Campus, they will be required to complete all ECE Lab components within their community. All Distance students must meet the Year 1 Synergy Requirements [PDF, 308 KB] in order to be registered in the two (2) fall and two (2) winter semester courses that have an ECE Play Lab component. Students who do not meet this requirement may be withdrawn from these courses after Day 10 of the semester.

Distance students can do their placements in the city/town of their choice, but placements are done in-person at an approved childcare agency or kindergarten classroom. Placements are generally completed in the last semester of our program.

The Timmins Campus and Distance Early Childhood Education programs are vigorous. For this reason, part-time pathways are available. Please contact the program coordinator to discuss this option.

Contact Information

For questions about being admitted into the program, please contact Northern College Admissions at admissions@northern.on.ca or by phone at 705-235-3211 ext. 7222.

For questions about the content of the program, contact the Program Coordinator.

Erin Holmes
Program Coordinator
Tel: 705-235-3211 ext. 2156
Email: holmese@northern.on.ca

Student Success & The Northern Experience

Nurture joy and imagination to help youngsters transition successfully to the school system as part of a multidisciplinary team that works with infants and children up to 12 years old.

Our Early Childhood Education program equips you with the skills and knowledge to research, plan, carry out and evaluate a full range of program and curriculum activities designed to help children reach their full developmental potential. Our Children’s Play Lab provides you with additional hands-on experience to design, setup, monitor and make improvements to an early years learning environment through our Children’s Play Lab.

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Course Information

Course descriptions can be found below.

Please note, course information is based on our current offering and is subject to change. Current students can find more information on courses in their student account.

If you have questions or require program information for previous academic years, please contact the Program Coordinator.

More information can be found in the Program Outline [PDF, 199 KB]. Program Outlines can also be found in the archives.

Program Outline [PDF, 199 KB]

2024-2025 Academic Year

Semester 1

In this course, students will learn essential skills for success in college and the workplace. This course focuses on developing and strengthening oral and written communication skills, and critical thinking ability. During this course, students will engage in a variety of forms of communication with a focus on upholding the principles of academic integrity. Students will develop the skills necessary to create discipline-specific documents, practice business etiquette and professionalism, and apply critical thinking strategies to practical scenarios. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to plan and draft concise, coherent and well-organized writing assignments that are tailored to specific audiences and purposes. 

42 Hours

For children, play is learning. There is no better space for kids to learn than outdoors, and there is no better play resource than nature. Children can be taught in their early years to play outdoors. Children reap great benefits as they grow a connection and appreciation of the natural environment. In the structured, busy and technologically-advanced world they live in, the role of outdoor play that is experienced as children is being forgotten. This course will nurture the educators awareness for the importance of nature play as any activity that gets children active or thinking actively outdoors, with the end goal of building skills and ability to play without the need for parental or adult control. This can be in any setting, so long as it’s outdoors. It supports children being left to their own devices while caregivers supervise from a distance. Adults can also actively participate in nature play, however, through child-led play activities. Nature play significantly improves all aspects of child development – physical, cognitive, social and emotional. Playing outdoors grows resilience, self-confidence, initiative, creativity and more. It encourages the joy of movement; it nurtures wild imaginations, experimentation, friendships, social connections and behaviour.

42 Hours

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the developmental stages of childhood. Students will take a brief look at prenatal development in order to determine the possible impact this may have on later development. The remainder of the course will be to study the developmental stages from birth to young adolescence. Both theoretical and applications are employed to study social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of infants, toddlers, preschool children and middle childhood and young adolescents.

42 Hours

This course is designed to introduce the student to the philosophy and practice of providing high quality care and education in an Early Childhood Education setting. The intent of this course is to equip students with techniques for guiding children as they move through the routines of the Child Care Centre and Full Day Early Learning programs. The student will also become acquainted with the educational purposes and goals that underlie current practice.

42 Hours

This course presents basic techniques of observation and documentation. This includes pedagogical documentation, as well as recording and interpreting the different skills and behaviours of young children (birth to age 12 years old) and using this information to then integrate children’s individual profiles. The information collected will be used for educational guidance following developmentally appropriate practices in a diversity of early childhood settings.

42 Hours

This course explores the foundations and process of play in preschool environments. Students will plan and implement child-centred, developmentally-appropriate experiences and environments that promote child growth and self-esteem. Learning through play will be examined as a foundation to further learning. Observation and documentation methods will be used to examine how play supports child development in the preschool setting.

70 Hours

This course will cover the basic elements of Infant and Toddler Environments and how they differ from preschool environments. Successful students will identify responsive relationships as the foundation of all later learning. They will be able to assist infants and toddlers construct knowledge by creating a supportive environment, and by providing experiences that will facilitate growth and development.

70 Hours

Semester 2

In this course, students will develop professional communication skills required for success in the workplace. Students will continue to develop and strengthen their oral and written communication skills and critical thinking abilities. During this course, students will use various modes of communication to complete assignments designed to meet program and professional expectations. Students will utilize a variety of technologies for the purpose of creating a professional presence in a digital environment. Students will develop the necessary skills to create polished workplace documents such as letters, resumes, cover letters and reports tailored to specific audiences. Students will learn to conduct themselves with professionalism in both workplace interviews and job searches.  Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to create clear, concise and coherent workplace and employment documents that are error-free and designed for specific audiences and purposes.  

42 Hours

This course is designed to introduce you to school-age children and their care as part of a child-care and school setting. In addition, this course will provide you with information and techniques to help you work effectively with diverse families and to design and develop age-appropriate activities and learning experiences. Since most ECE students will likely provide care for school-age children through before- and after-school programs, Full Day Early Learning programs in JK/SK Classrooms as well as summer and week-end programs, the focus of this course will be on school-age children’s social, emotional, physical, moral, cognitive and self development. In the end, the intent of this course is to enable you to use your knowledge of school-age children to develop skills to plan, carry-out and evaluate a well-rounded school-age program.

70 Hours

This course will introduce students to the Ontario Kindergarten Curriculum and the role of the Early Childhood Educator in the education system.

70 Hours

This course will introduce students’ to children’s curriculum. This course is designed to enable the student to develop skills to plan, carry out, and evaluate a well-rounded creative program in a childcare or school suitable for children. Topics include: field trips, cooking with children, classroom displays, math and science. Storytelling techniques will be studied including presenting flannel board stories, puppets, music and creative movement activities to children.

42 Hours

In this course, the theory of creativity, the stages children pass through in developing skill in artwork, and the methods and techniques of planning, conducting and evaluating various creative activities will be studied. The purpose of this course is to enable the student to plan and implement a creative arts program suitable for children aged one to twelve years.

42 Hours

Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) encounter children with exceptionalities and/or challenging behaviours who require guidance and support. Using the theory and knowledge gained, Child Guidance provides positive guidance strategies that are introduced and explored in-depth to increase an ECE’s ability to successfully support all children in their care. Child Guidance focuses on children living with exceptionalities or exhibiting challenging behaviors and their possible underlying causes. Students also explore the cognitive, physical, emotional, social, and behavioural differences often associated of children with varying exceptionalities. Throughout the course, the emphasis remains on the uniqueness of an individual child and the evidence-based practices, which support specific child-centred guidance methods.

42 Hours

Students will develop an awareness of the importance of the integrative experience of fieldwork that assists with blending theory and practice. This course is meant to serve as an opportunity to facilitate the process of weaving together academic concepts and real experience in fieldwork placement. The Fieldwork Placement Manual will be reviewed; specific competencies and requirements for placement will be identified. The student will examine his/her role in relation to field placement expectations. Policies, processes, roles, responsibilities, and expectations relating to fieldwork placement will be discussed. This course will introduce the student to the concept of reflective practice and professional development. Self-assessment activities will be used as a means of helping the student to reflect on achievements and to examine the implications for further learning. This course will help the student clarify his/her expectations and prepare for a successful fieldwork placement experience.

42 Hours

Semester 3

This course will assist the learner in developing a basic understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Characteristics of Autism will be explored; the triad of common difficulties will be explained and used as a basis for better understanding of individuals with an ASD. The learner will identify the particular needs of individuals with an ASD, as well as the needs of the family, the school, the community, etc. Evidence-based intervention techniques will be studied in order to provide the learner with recognized intervention methods when dealing with individuals with an ASD.

42 Hours

Nutrition plays a significant role in promoting health and preventing disease. Major nutritional concerns facing Canadians of all ages and walks of life are obesity and chronic diseases influenced by diet. This course will introduce the student to basic health and nutrition principles that promote healthy food choices and positive lifestyles. Diet modifications that may be required by individuals across the lifespan will be discussed.

42 Hours

Students will explore and examine the many layers of diversity that surround individuals and identifiable groups in society and they will see how these many layers contribute to a rich, diverse Canadian cultural landscape. As part of this examination, students will have the opportunity to reflect on their personal attitudes, assumptions and views toward diverse population groups.

As a brief introduction, students will begin developing their understanding of diversity by identifying, discussing, and defining core terminology like privilege, cultural competence, and cultural safety. Students will enhance their knowledge and understanding of diversity by looking at origins of differences among various population groups in Canada and by looking at society’s attitudes associated with Canadian Regionalism, demographic trends, First Nations peoples, immigration, and various other established minority groups. Also, learners will become aware of government policies and influence on certain segments of Canadian society and its role in dealing with social inequalities. Finally, students will look at and reflect on the media’s role in perpetuating stereotypes and swaying personal views of diversity in Canada.

42 Hours

This course provides students with comprehensive introduction to children and youth who display various categories of exceptionality. Learners will be encouraged to view exceptionality from a biopsychosocial perspective and view interventions from a social systems theory perspective. This course is designed for a students who are studying exceptionalities for the first time. It is expected that such students require knowledge of the philosophies, practices, legislation and policies that determine the care, education, and support of children and youth with special needs. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of the conceptual issues, research findings, evidence based practices relevant to children and youth with exceptionalities. This course emphasizes the concept of inclusion on a continuum and challenges students to critically analyze philosophies and practices in order to emphasize a child-first approach.

42 Hours

This course is designed to introduce the student to the skills needed to plan, manage, lead and administer a Child Care Centre.

42 Hours

Improving your knowledge and understanding of the history of the Indigenous peoples of what we now call Canada is an important step to enable Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, organizations, and communities to work together more respectfully. Throughout this course you will have the opportunity to learn, discuss and reflect about many topics that are relevant in the learning journey towards reconciliation.

42 Hours

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

42 Hours

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

42 Hours

Semester 4

Students will be placed in three different child care centres or kindergarten classrooms over three five-week periods. These placements provide students with an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge and gain practical experience in early childhood education. The placements will provide diverse opportunities for learning as well as personal growth Students will be required to complete placement with varied age groups including Infant/Toddler, Preschool and Kindergarten/School-age children. Alternate placement agencies will be made available for placement opportunities on an individual basis with prior approval. Out-of-town placements may become necessary based on enrolment numbers and would be arranged individually by each student with college providing final approval.

The placement totals 572 hours.

This course is a co-requisite of Fieldwork Placement. While on placement, students will attend seminars. This in-class experience provides the opportunity to critically analyze the experiences that are occurring in the field. Students begin to understand the delicate balance between what they have learned in the classroom (theory, skills) and the needs and requirements in the field. Self-care will be emphasized as students transition from the role of student to that of entry-level professional. The Fieldwork Seminar is 1 day per month.

28 Hours

Career Ready Graduates

Work-Integrated Learning Opportunities

This program requires a field work component. All course work must be successfully completed prior to fieldwork placements. See below for more details on the Requirements for Field Work Placement.


Articulation Agreements

A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program coordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option.

Career Opportunities

Once registered with the Professional College of Early Childhood Educators, graduates may find employment in childcare centers, nursery schools, agencies or recreational programs, college lab settings, Early ON Centers, family resource centers, early literacy programs and Full Day early learning programs in kindergarten classrooms across the province.

  1. Create learning contexts to enable, build and maintain caring, responsive relationships in partnerships with children, families, and communities that value and respect social, cultural and linguistic diversity including Indigenous peoples’ worldviews and Francophone identity.
  2. Co-create, facilitate and reflect upon inquiry and play-based early years and childcare programs and pedagogical approaches to support children’s learning, holistic development and well-being following children’s capabilities, interests, ideas and experiences.
  3. Co-design and maintain inclusive early learning environments to value and support equitable, accessible and meaningful learning opportunities for all children, their families and communities in a range of early years and childcare settings.
  4. Collaborate with children, families, colleagues, agencies and community partners to create, maintain, evaluate and promote safe and healthy early learning environments to support independence, reasonable risk-taking and healthy development and well-being.
  5. Use observation strategies to identify children’s strengths and challenges and to ascertain when children and families might benefit from additional support or community resources.
  6. Use professional communication in interactions with children, families, colleagues, employers, the regulatory body, government authorities and children’s service agencies to meet legal and ethical standards of the early years sector.
  7. Act in accordance with relevant legislation, regulations, College of Early Childhood Educators Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, agency policies and procedures and principles of evidence-informed practice and reflect upon their impact on one’s own role in early years and childcare settings.
  8. Identify, report and document when a child is in a situation of perceived risk for, or actual neglect or abuse, in accordance with legislation, the College of Early Childhood Educators Coded of Ethics and Standards of Practice, policies and procedures.
  9. Create and engage in partnerships with families, communities, colleagues, interdisciplinary professionals, authorities and child service agencies to advocate for quality early years and childcare programs and services.
  10. Engage in reflective practice and continuous professional learning in accordance with principles of lifelong learning, evidence-informed practices in the early years sector and requirements of the College of Early Childhood Educators.

Admissions Information & Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
  • Grade 12 English (C, U) (Minimum 60% GPA required) or equivalent
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (word processing, spreadsheets), web search engines and e-mail systems.


Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

Applicants who do not have a high school diploma or equivalent and will have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program must undergo academic testing and may be required to complete Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process to demonstrate equivalency of admission requirements prior to admission into a program.

For more details, please contact the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 or admissions@northern.on.ca.

Additional Requirements for International Students

In addition to the admission requirements, international students must have proof of English Proficiency and meet the requirements below.

1. Proof of Senior High School Diploma/Certificate.

2. English Proficiency (we will require one of the following):

  • IELTS Academic International English Language Testing System: a minimum overall score of 6.0 must be achieved with no individual band score under 6.0; however, we will accept one band at 5.5.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Internet Based Test (iBT) overall minimum score of 79.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic: Graduate Diploma: 58+.

3. CO-OP Work Permit is mandatory for this program to participate in unpaid program placements.

If your country of citizenship has English as its official language, we may accept alternate proof of English Proficiency.

All educational documents must be submitted in English and will be dependent on the country of citizenship.

For more information, please contact admissions@northern.on.ca.

Additional Information

Placement Permit Requirements for First Year Students


Year 1 ERV Package: Year 1 Electronic Requirements Verification (ERV) Package [PDF, 308 KB]

Year 2 ERV Package: Year 2 Electronic Requirements Verification (ERV) Package [PDF, 369 KB]


Requirements for Field Work Placement

It is important to note that this program requires a field work component. While the intent is for placements to be arranged in the student’s own community, when this is not possible, alternate communities will need to be considered. Students are responsible for the costs of travel to and from field work placement sites, parking costs, etc. A dress code is in effect during all lab practice sessions and during the field work component of the programs. All course work must be successfully completed prior to field work placements.

International students require a criminal reference check from their home country on top of their criminal reference check in Canada in order to be able to go on placement.

In order to prepare you for fieldwork placement, you will be required to have a current resume and cover letter. Fieldwork placement (FWP) agencies may require additional documentation in order for you to begin FWP.  The specific documents will be made known to you in your Reflective Practice course. A recent criminal reference check – (within 3 months) may be required prior to the start of classes in September.

Students who do not comply with the immunization requirements may not be allowed into the field work settings and as such may not be able to complete the placements and practicums required for graduation from the program. CPR re-certification, WHMIS, criminal reference checks and immunization updates are required annually. Students will not be allowed on placement lab component if documentation is not completed.

To be eligible for participation in field work practice, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which that person has not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record may result in inability to participate in fieldwork practice courses and will prevent the student from graduating. Any costs for these tests/certifications will be the responsibility of the applicant.

A passing grade of 60% is required for all Community Services program courses and 50% for General Education Electives.

To succeed in this program, students must be highly motivated, highly committed as well as physically and mentally fit. Post-acceptance into the program, a questionnaire outlining previous experience, volunteer activities and interests must be completed and returned to the College.

Tuition, Fees & Payments

Tuition and fees are typically updated yearly for the upcoming Academic Year in May.

Current amount may be based on last years amounts and are subject to change. Ancillary fees vary by campus and program.

If the tuition and fee information for international students does not appear on this page, visit northerncollege.ca/international/tuition to see amounts for general programs.

Please refer to your Student Account for the most up-to-date information.

Student Year Campus Program Code Tuition Ancillary Fees Total Fees
StudentDomesticYear1CampusTimmins - PCProgram CodeA003Tuition $2,720.56 Ancillary Fees $995.50 Total $3,716.06
StudentDomesticYear2CampusTimmins - PCProgram CodeA003Tuition $2,720.56 Ancillary Fees $895.50 Total $3,616.06
StudentDomesticYear1CampusDistance - CKProgram CodeA015Tuition $2,720.56 Ancillary Fees $822.50 Total $3,543.06
StudentInternationalYear1CampusTimmins - PCProgram CodeA003Tuition $14,813.46 Ancillary Fees $1,608.00 Total $16,421.46
StudentInternationalYear2CampusTimmins - PCProgram CodeA003Tuition $14,813.46 Ancillary Fees $1,508.00 Total $16,321.46
Tuition & Payment Information

Find Your True North.

At Northern College, you’re a part of a community.

From your teachers to support staff and administrators, we are all here to help you get an education and make some lasting connections along the way.

Your success is incredibly important to you, so we provide student supports to help you achieve your goals. From study assistance and accessibility services to mental health supports and financial aid, we’ve got you covered.

Each of Northern’s campuses boasts exercise facilities, a gym, cafeteria, study areas and a library – places that you can go to help keep you focused as you work your way through your studies. The communities we call home are incredible places, filled with amazing people and things to do.

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