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  • Early Childhood Education

    Early Childhood Education

Program Code:ECE
Campus:Newnham, King
Duration:4 Semesters (2 Years)
Start Dates:Fall, Winter,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Diploma

Program Description

As a student in the ECE program, you’ll learn about the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs of children. You’ll also learn the skills and knowledge necessary for planning and carrying out programming which optimizes individual development of young children.

Your studies will blend theory about childhood development with a hands–on application of those principles. You’ll explore child development theory and apply it to programming for infant, toddler, preschool and school–aged children. As part of the program, you’ll also study developmental theory and practice for children with special needs, as well as an overview of relevant communications theory and philosophy.

Seneca’s two lab schools are model child care centres that provide you with opportunities for observation and programming. Field placement is central to the learning experience, so you will be placed in the field for one to two days each week.

Program Learning Outcomes:

This Seneca College program meets the system-wide standards as set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Plan curriculum that is based on a thorough understanding of child development.
  • Plan and implement individual programs and curriculum to meet the developmental needs of children.
  • Utilize a variety of observation techniques to enhance work with children, families, and co-workers.
  • Maintain responsive relationships with individual children and groups of children.
  • Establish and maintain safe and healthy environments which best meet the requirements of current legislation, regulatory bodies, and program policies.
  • Develop and maintain effective written, oral, nonverbal, and electronic communications with children, families, co-workers, employers, and individuals/agencies.
  • Apply relevant legislation, policies, procedures, and regulations to early childhood education programs and settings in a changing social context.
  • Apply a personal philosophy of early childhood education within the framework of ethical and professional standards.
  • Act in a manner consistent with principles of fairness, equity, and diversity to support the development and learning of individual children, within the context of his/her family, culture, and society.

Essential Employability Skills:

Graduates of this program are also expected to demonstrate the essential employability skills learning outcomes as outlined on the Ministry of Training, College and Universities website.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).

Applicant Selection:

  • Applicants will be advised if they are required to attend a pre–admission orientation.


  • Current immunization report and report of chest x–ray or tuberculin skin test. Please take the attached form to your family doctor and have them complete and sign it.
  • A valid Standard First Aid Certificate (16 hours).
  • A valid CPR "C" Certificate.
  • Vulnerable Sector Police Reference Check.
  • Note: applicants living in the City of Toronto can expect to wait a minimum of 8-12 weeks to receive a Police Check. Use the attached form to apply a minimum of 8-12 weeks before the start of school. You must print this form on 8 1/2” x14” paper (legal size); if you don’t it will be returned to you. Complete the top portion of the form with your personal information, sign, date, and mail with a CERTIFIED CHEQUE or MONEY ORDER for $15.00 to Toronto Police Services, 40 College St. Toronto ON, M5G 2J3. Alternately you can visit the ECE office – D4020 Newnham Campus to obtain a Toronto Police Check Form.
For information regarding police checks for residents of York, Peel, or Durham region please contact your appropriate program coordinator.
  • Students in the ECE program must be in good physical and mental condition. They must meet the same physical and immunization requirements as those for the staff employed by the agency/facility where the field placement is occurring.


  • A current Police vulnerable sector screening is REQUIRED for entry into the field practice component of this program.
  • Although not required for admission, work experience in a related setting is considered an asset.


The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be  well-organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These  skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.



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Your Career

As an Early Childhood Educator, you’ll be prepared for a fulfilling career working with children from infancy to 12 years. Your career may include employment in child care centres, after–school programs, nursery schools, parent co–operative centres, private home child care, some centres for children with special needs, and in a kindergarten in the elementary school system. Our four–semester Early Childhood Education program puts you on the path to an exciting career.

Provincial Registration

In order to practice in Ontario as an "Early Childhood Educator" or a "Registered Early Childhood Educator", graduates must apply for registration in the College of Early Childhood Education (CECE). Graduates of the ECE program will meet the education requirement for registration. For more information, please visit

Diploma to Degree... and Beyond

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at the following post-secondary institutions:


University/CollegeDegrees Available
Ryerson University• Bachelor of Arts, Early Childhood Studies – Direct Entry
Seneca College• Bachelor of Child Development
• Bachelor of Commerce, Human Resources Strategy and Technology
• Bachelor of Commerce, Business Management
Tyndale University College• Bachelor of Arts (Human Services, Early Childhood Education, Human Services-Social Service Worker) or Bachelor of Religious Education (Degree Completion or Modular)
York University• Bachelor of Arts


University/CollegeDegrees Available
Algoma University• Bachelor of Social Work
• Bachelor of Arts in a related field
Brock University• Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Honours)
Carleton University• Bachelor of Arts or Honours Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies
King’s University College at The University of Western Ontario• Bachelor of Art, Arts or Social Science
Lakehead University• Concurrent Education
Laurentian University• Bachelor of Arts (General) in Psychology
Wilfrid Laurier University - Brantford Campus• Honours Bachelor of Arts
University of Windsor• BA Honours in Disability Studies


University/CollegeDegrees Available
University of Victoria• Bachelor in Child and Youth Care (BCYC)

Affiliations and Associations

  • Association for Early Childhood Education, Ontario (AECEO)
  • Canadian Association for Young Children (CAYC)
  • Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant semester.


Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
EAC150 College English 3
ECE110 Visual Arts in Preschool Curriculum 3
ECE112 Healthy Safe Environments 3
ECE113 Curriculum and Applied Theory: 2-6 Years 4
ECE114 Observation and Development: 2-6 Years 3
ECE116 Field Placement: 2-6 Years 16
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
ECE209 Understanding Self and Others 3
ECE213 Curriculum and Applied Theory: 6-12 Years 3
ECE214 Child Development and Observation: 6-12 Years 3
ECE215 Interpersonal Relationships 3
ECE216 Field Placement: 6-12 Years 6
PSY125 Introductory Psychology 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
ECE310 Music and Movement in the Early Years 3
ECE312 Understanding and Responding to Child Abuse 1
ECE313 Curriculum and Applied Theory: Birth to 3 Years 3
ECE314 Observations and Development - Birth to 3 Years 3
ECE315 Building Relationships: Families with Young Child 3
ECE316 Field Placement: Birth to 3 Years 16
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
ECE409 History and Models of Early Childhood Education 2
ECE412 Legislation, Advocacy and Social Policy 3
ECE413 Curriculum and Applied Theory: Inclusive Community Practices 3
ECE414 Children with Exceptionalities 3
ECE415 Professional Practice 3
ECE416 Field Placement: Inclusive Community Practices 16
XXXXXX General Education Option 3

Contact Us

For additional information, please visit the School of ECE web site at:

If you are currently working in child care, and would like to work towards your Certificate of Apprenticeship and ECE Diploma at Seneca, please contact your local Apprenticeship Office:

  • Toronto (416) 326-5784
  • Pickering (905) 837-7721
  • Mississauga (905) 279-7333
Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor (Newnham): Maureen Massicot
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22014
Domestic Admissions Advisor (King): Andrea White
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55016
International Admissions Advisor: Valentyna Gorodovych
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22432
Registration & Records Advisors:
Newnham Campus: Laurie Johnson
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22449
King Campus: Andrea White
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55016
Program Coordinators (Newnham Campus):
First Year: Jennifer Sabatini
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 26477
Second Year: Meena Hakimyar
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22352
Program Coordinators (King Campus):
First Year: Laila Shah
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55519
Second Year: Laurie Landy
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55297
Program Chair:
  Mary Fisher
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22040
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ECE Video

Early Childhood Education student Gail talks about her program.

Seneca – Toronto, Canada Edit Page