Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership Program (C300)

Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership
School of Early Childhood
George Brown College at Ryerson University
4 years (8 semesters)
Honours Bachelor's Degree
Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership is a four-year George Brown College degree program that will prepare you to become a progressive leader in this complex and evolving sector.

Full Program Descriptions



Preparing Early Childhood Leaders

Are you passionate about working with children? Do you want to learn how to lead and manage an inclusive early childhood facility that will stimulate and nurture learning? The Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership is a four-year degree program that will prepare you to become a progressive leader in this complex and evolving sector.

We believe that to be a successful leader in this field, you need to have a deep understanding of both human development and teaching & learning. We’ll guide you through a comprehensive look at these subject as it pertains to early childhood education and practice.


As human development plays an ongoing and integral role in our lives, and in particular in a child’s early years, we will expose you to this important topic from a variety of perspectives including:

  • developmental psychology
  • population health
  • neurobiology
  • sociology
  • anthropology


You’ll also study teaching and learning through an early childhood lens. This will encompass a thorough overview of curriculum planning and design as this forms the foundation of early childhood leadership.

Prior to completing your degree, you’ll have the opportunity to conduct research that will ultimately support your final thesis.

Your Field Education Options 

Field placement is offered in each year of the program with the longest being a 14-week full-time internship that takes place in year three. This internship may be local, elsewhere in Canada or in an international setting.

While on placement, students are expected to demonstrate their learning through exemplifying the leadership skills they have been taught in class.

To support student learning outcomes and ensure you have access to facilities that reflect the best practices we consider essential, we own and operate 12 child care centres that are located across the Greater Toronto Area. These lab schools expose you to the kinds of environments where you will eventually work and provide valuable services to the families and communities that they serve.


Program Standards and Learning Outcomes  

Every credential at George Brown College delivers detailed program learning outcomes that are discipline specific and aligned with the appropriate credential level. Program learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge and skills that students are expected to demonstrate by the end of their program of study.

In addition to the learning outcome requirements, College programs are required to provide students with exposure to a breadth of learning beyond their core disciplinary or vocational field, to increase their awareness of the society and culture in which they live and work. This breadth requirement is addressed for College programs through additional mandatory General Education or Liberal Studies courses in the program curriculum. Also, programs are designed to provide essential transferrable skills (referred to sometimes as essential employability skills), which include: communication, numeracy, critical thinking and problem solving, information management, interpersonal and personal skills, among others.

To see the relevant program learning outcomes for your specific program of study, please visit georgebrown.ca/programs/learning-standards-and-outcomes

Course Outline

Required Courses 


semester courses
Code Course name
ECL1201 Human Development: Foundations
ECL1203 Observing, Recording and Assessing
ECL1204 Interpersonal Communication
ECL1205 Composition and Rhetoric
ECL1303 Principles to Practice: Social and Physical Environments


semester courses
Code Course name
ECL1202 Personal Wellness
ECL1301 Human Development: The Early Years
ECL1302 Wellness and the Young Child
ECL1306 Field Seminar I
ECL1307 Field Practicum I
ECL2203 Curriculum Design for Early Learning


semester courses
Code Course Name
ELCL1304 Foundations of Inquiry: Reflection and Critical Thinking
ECL2101 Investigating Middle Childhood to Adulthood
ECL2102 Applied Research Methods
ECL2103 Inclusive Practice with Young Children
ECL2205 Family Studies: Research and Applications
Liberal Arts Elective  


semester courses
Code Course name
ECL2104 Curriculum Planning for Young Children
ECL2105 Field Seminar II
ECL2106 Field Practicum II
ECL2201 Human Development: Fundamental Relationships
ECL2202 History and Philosophy of Early Childhood Programs
ECL2204 Organizational Structure, Behaviour and Governance


semester courses
Code Course name
ECL3101 Quality Assurance for Early Childhood Programs
ECL3102 Leadership in Learning Organizations
ECL3103 Leadership in a Technological World
Liberal Arts Electives (choose two)


semester courses
Code Course name
ECL3201 Human Development: Current Topics
ECL3202 Building Healthy Communities: Advocacy and Leadership
ECL3205 Internship Seminar
ECL4102 Curriculum Leadership in Early Learning and Care
ECL4103 Managing Projects as an Early Childhood Leader
Liberal Arts Elective


Third-year internship is a 14-week work experience in an early childhood program, a related child and family service, or a relevant government department. Internship may be local, elsewhere in Canada or in an international setting.


semester courses
Code Course name
ECL3203 Early Childhood Program and System Delivery
ECL4111 Research in Early Childhood Studies
ECL4105 Field Seminar III
ECL4106 Field Practicum III
Liberal Arts Electives (choose two)


semester courses
Code Course name
ECL4211 Current Issues – Leadership for Quality (independent studies)
LHUM1215 History of Social Policy in Canada
Liberal Arts Elective

Course revisions are currently taking place. Course offerings may change without notice.

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Careers and Post-Graduate Study Opportunities

Your Career 

Graduates may find work in a variety of early childhood settings, including:

  • child care centres
  • family drop-in programs
  • early intervention services
  • family support programs

Emerging Best Start Child and Family Centres will be integrated with existing early childhood programs and graduates will be well positioned to assume leadership positions within these centres.

Future Study Options 

Previous graduates who wished to pursue further education have successfully gained admission to master's degree programs and/or the faculty of education at notable universities.

Ryerson University offers several post-graduate study opportunities for graduates of the Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership degree program. View the complete list of relevant post-graduate study opportunities offered by RyersonOpen New Browser Window here.

Career Options 

Graduates of this degree program will have the knowledge and practice base to influence pedagogy and curriculum. They will be prepared to move into supervisory, director and curriculum leadership positions in a full range of early childhood programs as their careers unfold or as they pursue further study.

This program prepares graduates for positions as Registered Early Childhood Educators, working in partnership with certified teachers in the Full-Day Early Learning programs that are replacing junior and senior kindergarten.

Tuition and Fees


$9,052.00 * † ‡

Additional Cost 

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in fall 2017. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in fall 2018 and at later dates.

† Internship cost is in addition to fees.

‡ Students will be required to purchase books and other course materials.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

How to Qualify and Apply

Admission Requirements  

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma** with six Grade 12 University (U) or University/College (M) courses, with a combined average of 65% or higher.
  • Grade 12 English (U) with a grade of 65 or higher.
  • Grade 11 Mathematics (M or U) OR Grade 11 Science (M or U) OR Grade 12 Mathematics (U) OR Grade 12 Science (M or U)
  • Mandatory Information session – Only applicants who receive a conditional offer will be required to attend an information session, as indicated in the offer letter. Other arrangements will be made for applicants who live outside the Greater Toronto Area and/or are unable to attend the information session.


Mature student status (19 years or older and no OSSD)

  • Grade 12 English (U) with a grade of 65% or higher
  • Grade 11 Mathematics (M or U) OR Grade 11 Science (M or U) OR Grade 12 Mathematics (U) OR Grade 12 Science (M or U)
  • English and Math/Science with a combined average higher than 65%
  • Postsecondary credits in English and Math/Science will also be considered (certain credits only)
  • Mandatory Information session – Only applicants who receive a conditional offer will be required to attend an information session, as indicated in the offer letter. Other arrangements will be made for applicants who live outside the Greater Toronto Area and/or are unable to attend the information session.

** There is no mature student testing in the required credits for degree programs. Mature applicants must have the English, Math and Science credits required. Information on where and how to upgrade can be found on the English, Math and Science upgrading pages.

English language proficiency required

George Brown College ESL Level 9; TOEFL 84 overall and 21 in each skill band (Online); IELTS 6.5 overall and 6.0 in each skill band; MELAB 85; CAEL overall 70 (writing 60)

Proficiency in English communications is necessary for success in this program. Please visit georgebrown.ca/englishproficiency for more details.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit georgebrown.ca/transferguide for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

George Brown has been granted a consent by the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development to offer this applied degree for a 7–year term starting May 12, 2010. The college shall ensure that all students admitted to the above-named program during the period of consent will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame. An application for renewal of the consent has been submitted and the current consent remains in effect until a decision on the renewal application is made.

Special Requirements  

Field placement is a mandatory and complex component of the program. Should accommodation issues arise, an Accessible Learning Consultant may be called upon to assist the applicant in determining whether she/he can meet the requirements necessary for safe caregiving for young children.

In compliance with requests from our student placement partners and requirements from Public Health and Ontario legislation, all students in this program must have completed the following prior to beginning field placement:

Students who are unable to provide completed field clearance documents may be unable to complete their field placement and, therefore, be unable to complete the program.

For more information about the ECE Field Placement requirements, please visit the field placement page.

Apply To  

Ontario Colleges

Contact Us

Contact Us  

School of Early Childhood

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2310

Email: ece@georgebrown.ca

Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.

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