Early Childhood Education is a two-year diploma program that uses rotating blocks of theory and practice to give you the skills you need to work with children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age in a variety of settings.

A female child care worker is with four children sitting on the couch with her. There are three girls and one boy and they are all reading books with the worker.


Program name
Early Childhood Education
Experiential learning
Field Placement
2 years (4 semesters) or 18 months continuous with Summer classes (January start)
Starting month
September, January
Ontario College Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2018 Closed
Jan. 2019 Closed
May 2019 N/A
International students
Sept. 2018 Closed
Jan. 2019 Closed
May 2019 N/A

Full Description

Early Childhood Education is a two-year diploma program that combines alternating blocks of classroom theory and field practice to provide students with both theoretical and practical training. Students learn to work with infants, toddlers, preschool and school-aged children in a variety of early childhood education settings.

Each semester is divided into blocks of seven weeks. One block is for academic study, the other is for field placement.


You may qualify for the fast-track program if you have a diploma or degree in a related field. For details visit program C130.

George Brown College Child Care Centre staff member works with toddlers

Part Time Study Options

We offer the Early Childhood Education diploma on a part-time basis.

Students must attend an orientation session. Call 416-415-5000, ext. 2310 or email ece@georgebrown.ca to sign up for a session.

We also offer professional development courses and a part-time post-diploma certificate in Early Childhood Management.

For professional development courses, visit the Early Childhood Institute for Professional Learning.

For available part-time studies, visit the Part–time Early Childhood Programs page.

For more information, call 416-415-5000, ext. 2310 or email ece@georgebrown.ca.

Experiential Learning

Field Placement

Your Field Study options

Students complete a seven-week field placement in each semester of the program. During this time, students have the opportunity to work with children of different age groups in a variety of settings.

Field placement provides a continuum of experience that gives students the opportunity to integrate and apply theory to practice.

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 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

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  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 Indigenous early learning curriculum, programs and environments that promote children’s, families and communities knowledge of and respect for Indigenous peoples and their cultures.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
ECE1075Foundations of ECE
PSY1075Infant and Child Development
ECE1069Health, Safety and Nutrition
ECE1070Interpersonal Communication
ECE1181Integrated Seminar 1
ECE2045Applied Curriculum
ECE1024Field Practice I for ECE
COMM1007College English


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
ECE1075Foundations of ECE
PSY1075Infant and Child Development
ECE1069Health, Safety and Nutrition
ECE1070Interpersonal Communication
ECE1026Field Practice II
GSSC1064Introduction to Sociology
ECE1089Observation, Planning and Evaluation
ECE1182Integrated Seminar II
ECE2045Applied Curriculum
ECE1000Professional Development Workshop 1


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
ECE2048Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
ECE2049Children with Special Needs
ECE2050Working with Families
ECE2014Field Practice III
GHUM1041History of Social Policy in Canada
ECE1080Professional Development Workshop 2
ECE2053Curriculum Theory
ECE2056Creative Curriculum
ECE1183Integrated Seminar III
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
ECE2048Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
ECE2049Children with Special Needs
ECE2050Working with Families
ECE2017Field Practice IV
GHUM1041History of Social Policy in Canada
ECE1080Professional Development Workshop 2
ECE2053Curriculum Theory
ECE1184Integrated Seminar IV
GNEDGeneral Education Elective

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Your Career

Graduates of this program may find employment in:

  • child care centres
  • early years centres
  • full-day Kindergarten
  • parent resource centres
  • pediatric playrooms
  • special education settings
  • integrated kindergartens
  • therapeutic nursery programs
  • in-home care

Future Study Options

Students who complete the Early Childhood Education program with a GPA of 2.5 or higher may apply to complete the bridge courses for entry into the third year of the Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership program (C301).

Your Early Childhood Education diploma will give you credit towards degree programs at other institutions. It also makes you eligible for entrance to Ontario’s College of Early Childhood Educators.

For information on future study options, see georgebrown.ca/transferguide


$4,035.00 *

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.

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

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 or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U) PLUS any additional (3) Grade 12 C, U, M or Grade 11 C, U or M credits
  • Mandatory Information session – Only applicants who receive a conditional offer will be required to attend the information session. 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 of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English.

Please note that George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

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.

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:

  • Standard First Aid with CPR level C course
  • Police Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Medical Clearance

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 on the ECE Field Placement requirements, please email ece@georgebrown.ca

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Success Stories

"By the end of first year, I had gained knowledge from courses that I was able to apply to my field placements. That hands-on experience was invaluable to me because the placements were immersive and allowed me to grow and experience diversity. All of this helped me get a job immediately upon graduating!"

Alice Lee (Graduate 2016, Early Childhood Education)
ARC Program Leader, City of Toronto

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.

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