Early Childcare Assistant

37.8-Weeks/ 490 inclusive placement hours

Course Overview

Students gain practical experience in our practicum under the guidance of qualified early childhood educators. This clinical placement will enable students to explore childcare and learning centers as work environments and develop confidence while practicing teaching and leadership skills. Graduates of our ECA program will be prepared to work in daycare centers, nurseries and early learning centers assisting preschool teachers.

Admissions Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent.
  • Mature student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing.
  • Negative Police Check, including vulnerable sector

Prior to Placement

  • Min mark of 65% in theory and practical application of theory
  • Current Standard First Aid and Basic Rescuer (Level C) CPR Certification
  • Medical form from a Canadian licenced physician stating fitness to complete the practicum and absence of communicable diseases.

Employment Opportunities

Early Childcare Assistants (ECA) work alongside Early Childhood Educators to provide developmentally appropriate child care for children up to age 8. They are employed in child care facilities, early learning centres, and school aged children programs.

Practicum Placement

Students will participate in 490 hours of placement in a childcare or early learning centre. During the placement students participate in the day-to-day activities of the centres, gaining valuable hands-on experience. Students experience the responsibilities of a childcare worker focusing on age appropriate cognitive, language, physical, emotional and social development.

The practicum provides students with an opportunity to incorporate classroom theory into real work situations. It allows the student the ability to demonstrate, evaluate and refine skills needed by a professional in an early child environment. It provides mentorship for the student to observe and interact with other early childhood professionals. Student practicum placements are arranged and scheduled by the college.

Courses

Introduction to Early Child Care and Education

This module presents an overview of Early Child Care and Education. Students gain an appreciation of the historical development of child care and its impact on contemporary approached to care and curriculum. The role of government and associations in Canadian child care and education are explained. The QUAD principles in child care are introduced. And students will develop strategies for being a successful student.

Role and Responsibilities

Students are presented with the professional expectations of early childcare workers, including the roles and responsibilities, attitudes, ethical standards and advocacy issues. The importance of teamwork, work place communication and being a role module are addressed. Strategies for time and stress management are presented. Critical thinking and professional development strategies are also covered.

Child, Family and Community

This module presents an in-depth look at the Canadian Family and the challenges facing families. Working with parents/guardians and building partnerships with families through formal and informal communication is discussed. Students will also gain an understanding of community-based support programs available to assist families who are facing specific challenges.

Introduction to Child Development

In this module students develop an appreciation and understanding of historical and contemporary theories of development, developmental domains and research approaches to child development.

Introduction to Prenatal and Infant Development

In this module students develop an appreciation and understanding of historical and contemporary theories of development, development domains research approaches to prenatal and infant development.

Introduction to Toddler Development

In this module students develop an appreciation and understanding of historical and contemporary theories of development, developmental domains and research approaches to toddler development.

Health and Safety

This module presents concepts and strategies for developing and maintaining a safe and healthy child care setting. Students review Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) regulations, fire codes and Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (W.H.M.I.S.) as well as discussing employer policies and procedures for emergencies. Child abuse recognition and responsibilities to report are covered. The role of the child care worker in children’s daily habits and routines is defined in addition to specific infant and toddler health issues. Personal health and wellness strategies are stressed.

Written Communication

Students are presented with skills to improve their proficiency in written communication and documentation in a child care setting. Attention to details in written communication through proof reading, referencing source material and verifying the accuracy of numerical entries is stressed. Evaluating the reliability and accuracy of written material is discussed.

Observation Skills

This module introduces the role of the observer and a variety of approaches to observing development. Ethical standards in observation and documentation are discussed. Writing concise, accurate and objective observations is introduced along with a variety of tools for observation.

Introduction to Preschool Development

In this module students develop an appreciation and understanding of historical and contemporary theories of development, developmental domains and research approaches to preschool development.

Practicum 1: Infant and Toddler

The practicum provides students with an opportunity to incorporate classroom theory into real work situations. It allows the student the ability to demonstrate, evaluate and refine skills needed by a professional in an early child environment. It provides mentorship for the student to observe and interact with other early childhood professionals. The focus of practicum 1 will be on infants and toddlers.

Guiding Children

This module looks at different care giving styles and how each style affects the development of the child. Dimensions of care giving are discussed and positive, developmentally appropriate techniques for guiding children are presented. Cultural sensitivity and various influences on child behaviour are discussed in the context of incorporating positive intervention and discipline strategies.

Curriculum Planning

This module introduces various approaches to curriculum and theories of learning. Curriculum environments and program documentation are covered in the context of developmentally appropriate practices. Various elements of curriculum are introduced including activities and themes, circle time and center activities. Play is presented as the main method for encouraging child development.

Nutrition

This module looks at various factors that affect young children’s eating habits and stresses encouraging positive and healthy eating habits. Students look at Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Living as a basis for determining the variety of foods, the number of serving and serving size when planning menus. Safe handling, preparation, serving and storage of food are presented. Safety issues around eating are discussed as well as special dietary requirements.

Practicum 2: Preschool

The practicum provides students with an opportunity to incorporate classroom theory into real work situations. It allows the student the ability to demonstrate, evaluate and refine skills needed by a professional in an early child environment. It provides mentorship for the student to observe and interact with other early childhood professionals. The focus of practicum 2 will be on preschool.