Early childhood education is more than just childcare. Quality early education has excellent benefits for families with young children. Our communities need more well-trained early childhood educators to provide this important care and education for our children.
If you’re considering becoming an early childhood educator and helping support children during the most critical stage of their brain development, keep reading to learn more.
For children, early childhood education is timed to support the most rapid period of brain development, between ages 1 and 5. During this time, children experience 85% of their brain development by building new synaptic connections. It provides a foundation for lifelong learning and:
- Builds an early enthusiasm for learning
- Improves social skills
- Develops independence
- Supports an easier transition to elementary school
- Boosts academic performance and positive behaviours later in life
Studies have shown children in quality early education programs are arrested less, earn more money by age 40, have higher high school graduation rates, have higher basic achievement by age 15, and have a higher IQ than their peers.
Early childhood education also has excellent benefits for the current and future economy.
- For every $1 spent on early childhood education, $6 is returned to the economy.
- Early childcare enables parents of young children to return to the workforce sooner.
- Better-educated children often obtain better employment and make more money as adults to contribute to their community and economy.
Education requirements for an ECE
In British Columbia, you must complete relevant educational programs and be certified by the Early Childhood Education Registry. All certifications require meeting at least one of the following requirements:
- Successful completion of an ECE course within the past five years, from a recognized school (including Capital College)
- Successful completion of a recognized, equivalent course within the past five years
- Valid certification in another province or territory.
Here are additional details for each of the three ECE certifications:
ECE Assistant Certificate
If you wish to work alongside certified ECE teachers for children up to 5 years old, you can obtain an ECE Assistant Certificate. It requires that you have a good character reference.
ECE One Year Certificate
This certificate permits you to work alone or as a primary educator for an ECE program for children aged 3-5 or alongside a five-year licenced educator for children under 36 months. You can work as an ECE under this certificate even if you are still completing your 500 hours of work experience for the five-year certificate.
ECE Five Year Certificate
To obtain your five-year certificate, you must complete 500 hours of work experience (supervised by a Canadian-certified ECE) and have a positive character reference.
Specialty ECE Certificates
When you earn your Five Year Certificate, you can select an additional specialization if you choose. In addition to sustaining the requirements for your primary ECE certification (as above), here are the details and requirements for two specialization options include:
Infant and Toddler Education (ITE)
This specialty requires you to successfully complete specialized training programs on infant and toddler education by a recognized ECE agency (like Capital College). Your practicum hours should be focused on children under three years old.
Special Needs Early Childhood Educator (SNE)
As an SNE, you must successfully complete educator training for children with special needs and complete a practicum focused on children with disabilities or diverse abilities.
Recognized ECE programs at Capital College
Capital College programs are approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB), the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.
Here is a sampling of the related diploma and certificate Montessori courses available through Capital College:
Duration: 52 weeks
Outcome: Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Diploma (3-6 years old)
Duration: 38 weeks
Outcome: Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Diploma (0-3 years old)
Duration: 70.25 weeks
Outcome: Early Childhood Educator Certificate
For ECE students who wish to specialize in a different career path, Capital College has the following recognized ECE programs:
- For Early Childhood Educators: Take the 52-week Early Childhood Education (ECE) course or the 80-week Early Childhood Education Diploma program.
- For Infant and Toddler Educators: Take the 24.5-week Early Childhood Education Infant and Toddler course.
- For Early Childhood Educator Assistants (ECA): Take the 5-week Early Childhood Assistant Program (ECA) program.
- For early learning English Language teachers: Take the 13-week Learning English with Children (LEC) course.
Where to begin a rewarding career in early childhood education
Capital College welcomes both local and international students into its ECE programs. Our programs are designated by the Ministry of Advanced Education Private Training Institution Branch (PTIB) and certified by BC Education Quality Assurance (EQA) as a Designated Learning Institution.
Our mission is to offer courses and programs to train future Early Childhood Educators to succeed in their careers and contribute to their communities. Providing quality early learning and childcare services benefits children’s development. It supports a healthy economy today and in the future.
Submit your Capital College application online to receive detailed intake dates and information for the program of your course.