Early Childhood Education

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    900 hours of in-class instruction

    600 Hours Work Placement (practicum) experience

  • Become an Early Childhood Educator
  • Student Comments


Developed with the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, this program teaches both theoretical and practical experience necessary to assist in all aspects of creating and sustaining childcare programs for families and the community.

Be prepared for employment in the field of child care, work within child care centres, pre-school programs and family child care environments.

Professional Development Courses Now Available. Contact us for more information at 902-564-6112

Program Description

The Early Childhood Education program was developed to meet the training standards of the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Department and is designed to provide opportunities for participants to develop the basic knowledge, skills, practical experience, and values necessary to work with children and their families, in child care centres, pre-school programs and family child care. Theory and practice are reinforced in our on-site child care centre (lab).

The Early Childhood Education program promotes readiness for employment in the community by developing the student’s abilities and initiative in creating and sustaining programs and strategies for children and their families.

The practical application of learning is intrinsic to the program and its participants. Students will be learning and working in the community throughout the program. Classroom learning and sharing will prepare students for work experience.

Graduates are qualified for employment in early childhood settings such as, child care centres, pre-schools, pre-primary programs and family child care.

Program Duration

900 hours of in-class instruction

600 hours of work place (practicum) experience

Course of study will include the following:

  • Communication Studies for Early Childhood Educators
  • Child Development: Pre-Birth – 5 Years
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education Practice
  • Curriculum and Program Planning for Early Childhood Education
  • Play-Based Pedagogy: Infancy – 5 Years
  • Responsive and Respectful Child Guidance
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • Historical Foundations and Contemporary Perspectives in Early Childhood Education
  • Valuing Diversity in Early Childhood Education
  • Observation in Early Childhood Education
  • Child Development: 6 – 12 years
  • Pedagogical Documentation in Early Childhood Education
  • Play-based Pedagory: 6-12 Years
  • Family-Centred Early Childhood Education
  • Advanced Inclusive Early Childhood Education
  • Research Literacy
  • Professional Development in Early Childhood Education
  • Infants and Toddlers: Responsive Interactions and Program Development
  • Physically active and Nature-Based Play
  • Program Administration and Management


Students must complete sixteen (16) weeks of work placement experience (practicums). Practicums will be divided over four periods within the program, in various childcare settings in the community. Each Placement will be four weeks in length.

Entrance Requirements

The entrance requirements for this program are Grade 12, GED, or minimum Wonderlic (14) cut score, and a clear Criminal Record/ Vulnerable Sector Check, clear Child Abuse Registry Check and 2 reference letters.

Relevant certifications acquired during this program include:

  • Standard First Aid
  • CPR Level C
  • WHMIS/Occupational Health & Safety
  • Food Handlers

Mount St. Vincent University

Students who have completed the Island Career Academy Diploma in Early Childhood Education may be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Child and Youth Study degree at Mount St. Vincent University. Students must meet the requirements for admission for transfer students described in the MSVU calendar.

Graduates of the Island Career Academy Early Childhood Education Diploma who are admitted to MSVU will be granted maximum of 50 % of degree requirements as transfer credit toward the Child and Youth Study degree at MSVU.

Child Care Centre

ICA Child Care Center is licensed to accommodate 15 children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years. In addition to serving as an on site lab for the Early Childhood Education training program, the centre provides care for children of students enrolled at Island Career Academy as well as children from the community in general. ICA is the only program in Cape Breton with a learning lab for the ECE Program.

All early childhood educators at ICA Child Care Centre have completed a diploma in Early Childhood Education. Learn more

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