Which Early Childhood Education Program Should I Take?


Two kinds of people exist in the world: Those who absolutely love being with children and those who don’t absolutely love being with children. Everyone on the spectrum has their fair reasons for why they feel how they feel about little ones. Children are adorable but can slobber sometimes, so we hear you.

If you happen to be the former and love children (like us!), a lively career working in the field of early childhood is not only idealistic, but also very captivating and heartwarming – especially when the children come running through the door to hug you.

Coincidently and luckily for Hannah Renaud, a Sprott Shaw alumni who studied Early Childhood Education, this career aspiration became a reality for her. With her genuine passion and love for children of all ages, every single day at work has been an inspiring and heartwarming one for her.

Sprott Shaw’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs

Apart from Hannah, many other Sprott Shaw graduates and alumni have actualized their dream careers of working with children. Like Hannah and many other Sprott Shaw graduates, you can work in Education and become an Early Childhood Educator with our Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs.

As one of our most popular programs, Sprott Shaw College offers several distinctive and specialized ECE Programs that train and prepare students for rewarding careers working with young children, from infants and toddlers to children in preschool.

At Sprott Shaw, we offer the Early Childhood Education Assistant Program, Early Childhood Education Basic Program, Early Childhood Education Montessori Program, and Post-Basic Program where you can receive a certificate for Children with Exceptionalities or a certificate with Infants and Toddlers, or even both! Most of our programs are available part-time and/or in the evening for those with demanding schedules.

With the wide variety of options we offer our students interested in Child, Family, and Community Support, some incoming students may become confused about which specific program they should take. This blog will cover some of the different ECE Programs Sprott Shaw offers, helping you better understand which program best suits you. 

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs

Students who first start at Sprott Shaw have a few main programs to choose from:  the ECE Assistant Program, the ECE Basic Program, the ECE Montessori Program (which includes the Basic Program), and the Post-Basic Programs.

For a general overview: The ECE Assistant Program equips students with hands-on experience working in childcare with a certified early childhood educator by their side; the Basic Program allows students to immediately start their career as an Educator (without the need to become an assistant first); and the Montessori Program equips students with the knowledge learned in the Basic Program while incorporating a specialization in Montessori education.

The ECE Assistant Program is a 14-week certificate program. This program covers three overarching topics: Child Growth and Development, Guiding and Caring, and Health, Safety, and Nutrition. For students, these courses present a comprehensive overview of positive child guidance, the developmental changes that occur in children, and children’s health issues, safety concerns and management, and nutrition.

With the completion of the program, students will be qualified with the skills to promote the psychological and physical safety, health, and well-being of each child. Students will also be able to demonstrate a wealth of knowledge regarding basic licensing regulations, safety, and hygiene related to childcare facilities.

This Assistant Program is suited for individuals who want to work with a certified educator by their side who can help support and guide them. Students who graduate this program can pursue careers as ECE Assistants, Preschool Assistants, Child Care Assistants, and more!

The ECE Basic Program is available with a 45-week certificate or a 77-week diploma. This Basic Program provides students with the skills and occupational competencies necessary in the industry based on the Ministry for Children and Family Development approved curriculum from the province of British Columbia.Both the certificate and diploma include practicum placements for students.

During the program, students will learn to develop and lead age-appropriate activities for children aimed to help promote social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and early literacy development. Throughout the program, students will learn to facilitate diversity and multi-cultural experiences and concepts to enhance the curriculum as well as recognize positive contemporary child guidance practices, causes, and characteristics of certain behaviours.

With the completion of the diploma program specifically, students will be eligible to apply for an Early Childhood Education Basic certificate from the Ministry for Children and Family Development.

Graduates of the certificate and diploma program can pursue careers in fields like preschools, group childcare, family childcare, foster parenting, supported child development, young parent programs, and more.  

Early Childhood Educator (ECE) playing with little girl

The ECE Montessori Program is an 80-week diploma program. This program encompasses the knowledge of the Basic Program, but also involves a specialization in Montessori Education. The Montessori Method is designed to foster hands-on learning through education that: Connects the mind, body, and spirit; is conveyed through movement; values collaboration; and unfold through love. In addition to the topics covered in the Basic Program, students will examine the six major areas of the Montessori curriculum: Practical Life, Sensorial Language, Math, Socials, Art, Music and Movement, and how they all interrelate. 

This program includes a practicum placement. Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible to apply for an Early Childhood Educator Basic certificate from the Ministry for Children and Family Development.

Graduates of the Montessori Program can pursue careers in young parent programs, recreational programs, family childcare centres, preschools, Montessori schools, and more.

The Post-Basic Programs

The ECE Post-Basic Program is a 32-week diploma program. This program expands on the material covered in the Basic Program and provides advanced training in ECE competencies for students interested in working with children with exceptionalities and/or infant and toddler care. As a note, the Children with Exceptionalities and Infant and Toddler Care Programs are also offered separately for students who want to intensely focus on one specialization – with each program running for 20 weeks.

This program includes a practicum placement and is based upon the Ministry for Children and Family Development approved curriculum. With the completion of the program, students can expand their knowledgeable and practical coverage from birth to children of age 5.

Students who complete this program become qualified and certified care personnel, granting them with the formal credentials to pursue advanced opportunities. Graduates of this program can pursue career opportunities as Early Childhood Educators, Child Care Supervisors, and more.


At Sprott Shaw, we offer several Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs to encourage students to pursue the specialization that best interests them. If you still have questions on which program best suits you, contact one of our advisors here and they would be more than happy to help you out!

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