Aboriginal Early Childhood Education Diploma Program

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  • Program Title: Aboriginal Early Childhood Education
    Credential: Diploma
    Delivery: Online
    Program Length: Two Years
    Program Availability: Full time or Part time
    Offered: This program is available starting every Monday.

    Program Description


    Custom tailored to meet the unique needs of First Nations communities, families and children, the Native Education & Training College’s Early Childhood Education Program prepares graduates to work with infants, toddlers, preschool and school-aged children and their families in a variety of early learning settings including childcare centres, community child and family support centres, home-based child care, Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten programs, school readiness as well as early intervention programs.

    Graduates have knowledge of current legislation related to early learning environments and recognize the interconnection of governing legislation, code of ethics, professional practice standards, and administrative responsibilities in order to provide support and guidance to children and their families and serve as positive role models.

    Aboriginal Early Childhood Education diploma graduates enter a uniquely dynamic, challenging work environment. Accordingly, in addition to these core competencies, to be effective in contributing to their community, graduates will be exposed to a wholistic approach to teaching, learning, working and living on a balanced path which includes a demonstration of respect for, connection with, and understanding of First Nations traditions, values, and beliefs. They are well prepared to work in an intercultural, multilingual society where they can use all their acquired knowledge, skills, and attitudes to serve their communities.

    Learning Outcomes


    1. Design, implement and evaluate inclusive and play-based early learning curriculum and programs that support children’s holistic development and are responsive to individual children’s and groups of children’s observed abilities, interests and ideas.
    2. Establish and maintain inclusive early learning environments that support diverse, equitable and accessible developmental and learning opportunities for all children and their families.
    3. Select and use a variety of screening tools, observation and documentation strategies to review, support and promote children’s learning across the continuum of early childhood development.
    4. Establish and maintain responsive relationships with individual children, groups of children and families.
    5. Assess, develop and maintain safe, healthy and quality early learning environments which meet the requirements of current legislation, agency policies and evidence-based practices in early learning.
    6. Prepare and use professional written, verbal, nonverbal and electronic communications when working with children, families, colleagues, employers, and community partners.
    7. Identify, select and apply relevant legislation, regulations, College of Early Childhood Educators Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, policies and evidence-based practice guidelines, and interpret their impact on a variety of early learning environments.
    8. Apply a developing personal philosophy of early learning in accordance with ethical and professional standards of early childhood education practice.
    9. Advocate for quality early learning environments and collaborate with members of the early learning team, families and community partners to establish and promote such settings.
    10. Engage in reflective practice, develop learning goals and maintain an ongoing professional development plan in accordance with evidence-based practices in early learning and related fields.
    11. Plan, implement and evaluate Aboriginal early learning curriculum, programs and environments that promote children’s, families and communities knowledge of and respect for Aboriginal peoples and their cultures.

    Your Career


    Upon completion of our Aboriginal ECE program our graduates will be uniquely qualified to peruse employment opportunities within First Nation Communities, Urban Friendship Centres as well as outside their communities.

  • Admission Requirements


    College Eligibility

    • 19 Years of age OR
    • Ontario Secondary School Diploma OR
    • Grade 12 equivalency certificate achieved through College academic upgrading
    • Grade 12 English

    Call the Admissions Office at 1 (800) 267-2577 for more details. Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

    Application Process
    Program intake – Apply to this program by visiting our Registration page. A Program Declaration Form must be completed, signed and submitted to indicate that you have met the program’s admission requirements. This form must be submitted prior to registering for your first course.

    NOTE: Field Placement Preparation I for ECE will be required to be taken the semester prior to taking Field Placement I & Seminar. Please be advised that Field Placement is available to Ontario residents only. Students who have successfully completed ECE Field Placement Preparation prior to May 2012, will not be required to complete Field Placement Preparation II for ECE.

  • Courses


    Semester 1
    Behaviour Intervention
    Communications I
    Developmental Psychology
    Foundations of Early Childhood Education
    Principles of Childcare I: Fundamentals of Observation and Guidance
    Introduction to Native Studies
    General Education Elective 1

    Semester 2
    Principles of Childcare II: Design and Evaluation of Early Learning Using Play-Based and Inquiry-Learning Based Curriculum
    Communications II
    Interpersonal Communication
    Native Creative and Expressive Arts Activities
    Family Communication and Building Family Support: A Native Perspective
    Child Abuse and Neglect
    Working with Children Who have Special Needs I

    Semester 3
    General Education Elective 2
    Child Care Administration
    Conflict Resolution in a Native Cultural Context
    Field Placement Preparation
    Health and Nutrition
    Reflective Practice, Values, Philosophy and Ethics
    Working with Children Who have Special Needs II
    General Education Elective 3

    Semester 4
    Field Placement and Supervision: Early Learning 1
    Field Placement and Supervision: Early Learning 2
    Field Placement and Supervision: Early Learning 3

    Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of information provided on our website. The College reserves the right to modify any course, program, curriculum, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time.

  • Course Descriptions


    Semester 1

    Behaviour Intervention (45.0 Hours)
    This course will teach students how to achieve optimal behavioral and learning outcomes in an early childhood setting – regardless of the challenging behaviour exhibited. Students will be familiarized with behaviour theory and supported in developing the skills required for designing and implementing successful behaviour intervention plans. The course focuses on exploring the reciprocal links between behaviour and environment and teaches students how to manipulate the environment so as to increase positive behaviours and decrease negative ones. The course explores universal tools such as reinforcement, meaningful instruction, student progress monitoring, and behaviour support plans and will increase students’ awareness and understanding of how functional behavioural assessment and intervention can be applied in promoting positive behaviour change when working and supporting children or youth.

    Communications I (45.0 Hours)
    Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on strengthening oral and written, as well as study and research skills that contribute to success in educational as well as workplace environments. Students are introduced to a number of research methods for locating and documenting information as well independent learning and study skills through a variety of collaborative exercises, engaging text and readings. Emphasis will be placed on the use of appropriate structure, writing conventions and style in several communication formats (e.g., formal letters, memoranda, expository essays) including the use of technology to communicate professionally. Students will also be introduced to the use of APA format referencing.

    Developmental Psychology (45.0 Hours)
    This course explores the continuity of development throughout the lifespan, covering the interrelationships among the different stages of the lifespan and among physical, cognitive, social, emotional and personality development. The course will cover the lifespan from the crucial prenatal period through late adulthood, as well as death and the grieving process.

    While the course covers development throughout the lifespan, it will emphasize the major milestones and related theories for the periods of development from prenatal to adolescence. An understanding of milestones within the areas of physical, motor, social, personal, emotional, cognitive, language and moral development will be reinforced. An emphasis will also be placed on current research findings related to child development.

    Foundations of Early Childhood Education (45.0 Hours)
    This course presents a broad, foundational exploration of the scope, roles, and practices of working with and for children and families as a ECE professional and outlines the benefits of early childhood experiences, appreciating multiple rationales for early childhood. Students will be introduced to the field of early childhood education with an investigation of the historical roots of early learning as well as the current landscape and taught to identify the principles guiding high quality early learning and care. Taking an ecological framework that defines early childhood programs, the course helps students make connections between values, beliefs and philosophies and practice, and includes case studies from a variety of classroom settings that highlight how teachers and programs are integrating guiding principles and beliefs into applied practice. Students also will examine the characteristics of a variety of different types of early learning environments: licensed child care centers, home child care, family resource centers, and elementary schools. There will also be an examination of the indicators of quality care and provincial legislation (Child Care and Early Years Act) and career options for early childhood professionals. In sum, upon completion of this course students will be able to identify the ingredients contributing to effective early childhood programs, provide methods of achieving quality, and identify the relationship of regulation, accreditation, and program evaluation to program quality.

    Principles of Childcare I: Fundamentals of Observation and Guidance (45.0 Hours)
    This course is designed to assist the student to develop skills for observing and assessing the development and behaviour of children aged 0 – 12. There will be a focus on observing and documenting children’s play for the purpose of designing curriculum.

    Introduction to Native Studies (45.0 Hours)
    This introductory course surveys the traditions, cultures, histories and contemporary issues facing Canada’s First Nations. The course covers such themes as European intrusion, colonial administration and policies, residential schooling, the Indian Act, key historical treaties, and self-determination. Additionally, the course covers Native arts and literature, and the contemporary quest for social justice and equality in modern Canadian society.

    General Education Elective 1 (45.0 Hours)
    General Education courses are designed to broaden a student’s academic base, extending his or her education beyond the main focus of early childhood education. In this program, students will be required choose three General Education Electives (15 hours each) from a menu of courses, provided by Northern College that cover the themes of General Education as defined by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding and Understanding Science and Technology. One General Education Course will be taken in each of the first 3 semesters of the program.

    Semester 2

    Principles of Childcare II: Design and Evaluation of Early Learning Using Play-Based and Inquiry-Learning Based Curriculum (45.0 Hours)
    This course focuses on developing skills for planning, implementing, supervising, and evaluating large and small group activities, both indoors and outdoors for children aged 0 -12. Students will learn to plan play-based and inquiry-learning based inclusive and emergent curriculum for both preschool and school-aged children. Students will also learn how to evaluate programs for indicators of quality and be able to describe the characteristics of effective program evaluation tools. Theories that can be applied to understanding children’s learning and the role the Early Childhood Educator will be explored. This course builds on Principles of Childcare I in that there will be a focus on designing activities based on the observations and assessments made for the purpose of designing curriculum. Individual program planning will also be covered and positive guidance strategies will be learned.

    Communications II (45.0 Hours)
    Communications II is a continuation of Communications I and is designed to further develop and strengthen practical written and oral presentation skills. Students will apply the appropriate principles and formats to both school and job-related documents and will continue to develop their presentation skills as well as expository and other writing skills.

    Interpersonal Communication (45.0 Hours)
    This course explores the dynamics of in-person, face-to-face communication in the workplace, whether working one-one-one or in teams. The focus is on helping students become more aware of their present ways of communicating with others and to build on the interpersonal communication skills they possess. The goal is to enhance student’s workplace people skills in order to become more successful in communicating with others by examining the verbal and non-verbal processes that shape communication, exploring the elements and process of communication, becoming aware of both group dynamics and the dynamics of relational communication and practicing the skills that underlie effective interpersonal communication.

    Native Creative and Expressive Arts Activities (45.0 Hours)
    This course is designed to enable the student to develop skills to plan, carry out, and evaluate a well-rounded creative program, with an emphasis on planning and implementing a creative arts program suitable for First Nations children aged one to twelve years. In addition to introducing various creative and expressive arts media and projects, additional activities that will be explored include: bracelet making, making Medicine Wheels, dream catchers and drums, as well as dancing and drumming.

    Family Communication and Building Family Support: A Native Perspective (45.0 hours)
    This course introduces students to the philosophy and practice of successfully engaging and working with families within a collaborative team approach in order to help family members achieve optimal positive outcomes through partnerships and trust. This course addresses the role of communication in developing and maintaining functional, diverse family relationships. This course will introduce students to service options and service coordination responsibilities involved in delivering human services to families in Ontario. Its purpose is to demystify practices such as accessing services, making referrals, treatment planning, case management and case conferencing as they apply to families. The student will explore case studies that illustrate best practice principles with a focus on their application to addressing the unique needs of First Nations families. Best practice principles explored include: a focus on individual strengths, family-driven and family-strengths-focused process; an emphasis on serving families within their communities; a commitment to culturally competent care; an emphasis on inter-agency collaboration, and an outcome-driven process.

    Child Abuse and Neglect (45.0 Hours)
    This course examines the indicators of child abuse or neglect (including emotional neglect), sets out the major theories of child abuse and neglect, and explores the various professional roles of the multidisciplinary team that often addresses abuse or neglect. The legal requirements for ECEs to report a suspicion of abuse under the Child and Family Services Act will be presented in addition to the process to follow where there is a concern for a child’s well being . The course also describes treatment issues, addresses intervention for children and families and describes prevention and policy issues.

    Working with Children Who have Special Needs I (45.0 Hours)
    This course explores issues related to teaching students with special needs, including children with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome disorder) , speech and language disorders, children with physical challenges and gifted learners. Case studies will be used throughout the course. Topics include: categories of exceptionality, identification and assessment of children, legal requirements, partnering with parents/families, intervention, inclusion, coordinating with various agencies and specialists, and planning, delivering, and documenting individual program plans.

    General Education Elective 2 (44.0 Hours)
    General Education courses are designed to broaden a student’s academic base, extending his or her education beyond the main focus of early childhood education. In this program, students will be required choose three General Education Electives (15 hours each) from a menu of courses, provided by Northern College that cover the themes of General Education as defined by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding and Understanding Science and Technology. One General Education Course will be taken in each of the first 3 semesters of the program.

    Semester 3

    Child Care Administration (45.0 Hours)
    This course is designed to introduce students to the knowledge and skills needed to plan and administer a childcare centre. Four key, inter-related, areas of administration are covered: (1) Maintaining safe and healthy learning environments, including a review of regulations, quality standards, and principles of health policies and practices, as well as guidelines for purchasing equipment that is safe, healthy, and promotes children’s learning; (2) Leadership and governance, through which students will be able to identify a variety of leadership roles, and describe the qualities that make a successful leader as well as learn about the roles and responsibilities of the administrative leader together with a review of the ways in which programs are organized and the roles and responsibilities of management and governance; (3) Advocacy, in which students examine the role of the early childhood educator in advocating for young children, families, and the profession, identifying personal and collective approaches to advocating for early childhood services and the early childhood workforce as well as identifying the skills needed to promote an awareness of early childhood and the benefits of collaborating with organizations in addressing issues of quality, compensation, and accessibility; and (4) understanding social policy and the roles of government, in which students will examine the functions of the various levels of government and Canadian early childhood social policy for children and families, as well as review the roles of Provinces and Territories in licensing and regulation.

    Conflict Resolution in a Native Cultural Context (45.0 Hours)
    Conflict is an unavoidable reality in our work and personal lives. In this course, by gaining insight into both the personal and the inter-personal dynamics of conflict, students will learn clear and effective strategies for helping avert or diffuse emerging conflicts, resolve current and future conflicts, or in cases where a conflict cannot be fully resolved, mitigating its negative impact and rendering it less problematic for all involved (children, families, colleagues). The course also covers traditional means of conflict resolution in a Native cultural context, including Talking Circles, Restorative Justice, Healing Lodges and the contribution that Elders can make to the process of conflict resolution.

    Field Placement Preparation (45.0 Hours)
    This course prepares students to make meaningful connections between classroom learning and their own field experiences through ongoing reflection, analysis, and exercises. Students will review basic information that is useful to students in human service field programs. Topics include: getting started, ethics, cultural diversity, communication, self-care, and other topics help students maximize their learning from experience. Covering information from the beginning to the end of a field placement, this course helps students analyze different experiences and situations they encounter on a daily basis in their field work.

    Health & Nutrition (45.0 Hours)
    Nutrition plays a significant role in promoting health and preventing disease and is especially important in the early years. Major nutritional concerns facing Canadians of all ages and walks of life are obesity and chronic diseases influenced by diet. This course introduces student to basic health and nutrition principles that promote healthy food choices and positive lifestyles. Diet modifications that may be required by individuals from birth to adolescence will be discussed.

    Reflective Practice, Values, Philosophy and Ethics (45.0 Hours)
    This course will help students develop their vision of an early childhood program. Student will be introduced to program philosophy, and examine the purpose and implications of a philosophy statement. This course also teaches students to identify the steps in developing a philosophy statement and program goals, with emphasis on policies and procedures, and how they reflect the goals and values of the early childhood program. Students will learn to identify the roles in determining and implementing the program philosophy. Direct reference will be made to traditional First Nations values and philosophy.

    Working with Children Who have Special Needs II (45.0 Hours)
    This course continues to explore issues related to teaching students with special needs, including children with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome disorder) , speech and language disorders, children with physical challenges and gifted learners. As in Working with Children Who have Special Needs I, case studies will be used throughout the course. Topics include: categories of exceptionality, identification and assessment of children, legal requirements, partnering with parents/families, intervention, inclusion, coordinating with various agencies and specialists, and planning, delivering, and documenting individual program plans.

    General Education Elective 3 (45.0 Hours)
    General Education courses are designed to broaden a student’s academic base, extending his or her education beyond the main focus of early childhood education. In this program, students will be required choose three General Education Electives (15 hours each) from a menu of courses, provided by Northern College that cover the themes of General Education as defined by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding and Understanding Science and Technology. One General Education Course will be taken in each of the first 3 semesters of the program.

    Semester 4

    Field Placement and Supervision: Early Learning 1 (240.0 Hours)
    Students complete their placements in a child care program (licensed centre based/home child care or full day learning) with a variety of age groups. Opportunities to practice skills will occur through professional interaction with children, parents, and Registered Early Childhood Educators. All field placement students will be supervised by a registered Early Childhood Educator. 15 hours of additional supervision will be provided by the Native Education & Training College. The program field supervisor will liaise with the placement setting supervisor as well as provide additional guidance to the student responding to the needs of the student and/or as requested by the placement supervisor.

    Field Placement and Supervision: Early Learning 2 (280.0 Hours)
    Students will plan and adapt activities for individuals and groups of children while on placement. Specific observation techniques will be used to identify developmental variations of children. Opportunities to develop effective communication strategies when interacting with parents and other professionals will be explored. All field placement students will be supervised by a registered Early Childhood Educator. 15 hours of additional supervision will be provided by the Native Education & Training College. The program field supervisor will liaise with the placement setting supervisor as well as provide additional guidance to the student responding to the needs of the student and/or as requested by the placement supervisor.

    Field Placement and Supervision: Early Learning 3 (280.0 Hours)
    Students will continue to plan and adapt activities for individuals and groups of children while on their placement. The specific observation techniques developed in Field Placement: Early Learning 3 will be further developed along with further development of effective communication strategies when interacting with parents and other professionals. All field placement students will be supervised by a registered Early Childhood Educator. 15 hours of additional supervision will be provided by the Native Education & Training College. The program field supervisor will liaise with the placement setting supervisor as well as provide additional guidance to the student responding to the needs of the student and/or as requested by the placement supervisor.

  • Fees & Expenses


    Tuition fees listed are in effect for the 2017-2018 academic year.

    • Application Fee: $100.00
    • Textbooks: $975.00
    • Postal Fee: $49.00
    • Tuition Fee: $3,825.00

    Total Tuition & Fees: $4,949.00 per academic year.

    The Ministry of Children and Youth is offering financial support in the form of Education Grants, Travel Grants and Training Allowances to individuals currently working in licensed childcare settings who want to upgrade their qualifications in order to obtain an Early Childhood Education diploma. For information and forms please visit www.ecegrants.on.ca.