Early Childhood Education

CampusStart DateTuition/Fees
WoodstockSeptember 2024 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
MiramichiSeptember 2024 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
Saint JohnSeptember 2024 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
MonctonSeptember 2024 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International
Fredericton September 2024 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International

Program Overview

Early childhood educators play an essential role in shaping children's lifelong views of learning. We teach children from birth to age twelve, nurturing them through activities and play that develop their intellectual, physical, and emotional growth. People remember the teachers that had an impact on our lives. If you are patient, loving, and creative, a career as an early childhood educator could be your calling.
In our Early Childhood Education program, you'll learn how to design, apply, and evaluate holistic educational programs, as well as develop skills related to observation, documentation, reflective practice, professionalism, leadership, and relationships. In this program, students also acquire knowledge and ability in child guidance, language and literacy development, health and safety, diversity and inclusiveness, and child development.

Within the program and the field, outdoor play is considered essential. This leads to curriculum that integrates intentional outdoor play planning promoting holistic growth and nurturing the development of relationships with and between children, families, communities, and nature.
In support of the New Brunswick (NB) Curriculum Framework for Early Learning and Child Care – English, the program’s educational approach is constructivist and developmental/interactional. Students have experiential learning opportunities throughout the program through NBCC's innovative Living Classroom, which provides practical opportunities to grow as educators and build confidence. A practicum during the first year also allows you to gain real-world experience in the early learning and childcare sector. Enroll today in the Early Childhood Education program and pursue a rewarding career where you can play a critical role in starting the next generation off on the right foot.


The requirements for this diploma program may be achieved within two academic years of full-time study.

Admission Requirements

    Profile A

  • High School Diploma or Adult High School Diploma or GED Diploma of High School Equivalency or Canadian Adult Education Credential (CAEC) or Essential Skills Achievement Pathway: Post-Secondary Entry High School Diploma

    NB Francophone High School Math Equivalencies
    International Student Admission Equivalencies

    Career Possibilities

    With the increased focus on the value of early childhood education, people qualified to teach young children can anticipate good career opportunities. As a childcare professional, you will be prepared for employment in group care settings, including early learning and childcare centres, preschool centres, schools, early learning and childcare home centres, and private homes.
    You may also decide to specialize in programming for infants and children with diverse abilities, programming for school-age children, or work in administration. Self-employment and entrepreneurial opportunities are also available, including childcare consulting, alternative caregiving (after-hours care), and tutoring.

    Find career possibilities related to this program in Career Coach.

    Specific Considerations

    Host agencies require students to provide a current criminal record check and vulnerable sector check from a recognized police service in order to be considered for an applied workplace experience. Individuals who have been convicted criminally and not pardoned are usually prohibited from proceeding to a work placement. Additionally, some practicum hosts require you to complete a Social Development Record Check. This will be submitted by the host before the workplace practicum begins and it is the student's responsibility to ensure that he or she is eligible to participate.

    Prior to the beginning of the applied workplace experience, host facilities may require the completion of an Immunization and Medical Form (pdf).

    As a condition of employment, some employers may require proof of valid CPR Level C Lifesaver certification.

    For students entering the second year of the program with a certificate from outside NB, it is recommended that they complete training on the New Brunswick Curriculum Framework for Early Learning and Child Care - English. This training is available through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

    Technology Requirements
    NBCC is a connected learning environment. All programs require a minimum specification, including access to the internet and a laptop. Your computer should meet your program technology requirements to ensure the software required for your program operates effectively. Free wifi is provided on all campuses.

    Areas of Study

    • Child Development
    • Health, Safety, and Nutrition
    • Program Planning
    • Child Guidance
    • Curriculum Development
    • Leadership and Advocacy
    • Professionalism and Ethics
    • Administration
    • Diversity and Inclusive Practices
    • Observation and Documentation
    • Curriculum and Environment
    • Literacies and Play
    • Communications and Relationships

    Program Courses

    Courses are subject to change.

    This course teaches students how to create documents that are organized, unified, and coherent.

    The course provides the opportunity for students to develop foundational knowledge of the principles and influences that impact the development of quality early childhood education programs.

    This course examines the importance of utilizing observation and documentation to analyze, co-construct, plan, assess, and guide a child-centered approach to early learning and care.

    This course is an in depth study to ensure the well-being of children by creating safe and caring environments where children’s emotional and physical health, positive identities, and sense of belonging are nurtured and protected.

    In early learning and childcare, all aspects of program planning incorporate literacies including environments, materials, routines and transitions, relationships, families and community, and reflection. Literacy is understood broadly (listening, reading, writing, dancing, singing, counting, performing, moving, and constructing) and within this course, students are encouraged to explore the affordances offered by different literacy modes.

    Planning for Literacy-Rich Environments enables students to develop literacy-rich environments appropriate for children from birth to 12 years. In this course, students learn how to plan child-centred learning environments inclusive of flexible schedules and transitions, open ended materials, positive relationships and identities, and varied literacy experiences.

    The course is designed to explore possible contributing factors that support children’s participation in learning communities that foster inter and intrapersonal relationships.

    This course is designed to provide an opportunity for learners to design an age appropriate curriculum. Students develop and evaluate programming to ensure it reflects the goals of the curriculum framework as well as a literacy-rich environment appropriate for children from birth to 12 years of age.


    • EDUE1145A
    • EDUE1146A
    • PSYC1091A
    • EDUE1148B

    This course is designed to teach the student to develop, apply, and evaluate integrated program planning that will allow all children to achieve their potential.

    During this course, learners apply their knowledge and skills in early learning and care within a field placement. Throughout the experience, learners actively participate in the planning and execution of early learning programming. The course also includes a weekly seminar that provides the opportunity to debrief, reflect, and prepare new curriculum initiatives.

    Nurturing environments are the backbone of positive early learning and childcare communities. When children are included and respected, the opportunities to learn increase which produces higher quality experiences and outcomes. Students explore how to purposefully plan and organize their environments in relation to the curriculum and learning community.

    Creating a Learning Community examines the importance of reciprocal relationships with children as well as observations of their interests and reactions to learning experiences. Students develop ways to increase children’s sense of belonging, engagement, responsibility, cooperation, and reflection. 

    When children play outdoors in nature, it’s been shown to positively impact their overall development and well-being. Indoor play cannot accurately replicate outdoor play as a person has to actually experience and connect with the outside world. For instance, watching a video about snow does not provide the same experience as standing outside catching a snowflake on one’s tongue during a snowfall. 

    Outdoor Play and Nature focuses on outdoor play opportunities in the natural world and constructed play spaces, including how to consistently incorporate them into early learning and childcare centres/homes. Students reflect on their own outdoor play experiences to gain insight into their personal feelings and see how their personal feelings can affect their own practices. 

    Within this course, the selection of outdoor environments is examined to ensure equitable access and opportunities are present for all children (without the need for adult intervention). Also, Canadian children experience four seasons, so students learn to create programming for outdoor play in all seasons. Other topics include environmental responsibility, Indigenous values and the natural world, healthy risk-taking and curiosity, and documentation of outdoor experiences. 

    Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) encounter children with exceptionalities and/or challenging behaviours who require guidance and support. Using the theory and knowledge gained in the previous course, Guiding Children Positively, further positive guidance strategies are introduced and explored in-depth to increase an ECE’s ability to successfully support all children in their care.

    Advanced Positive Child Guidance focuses on children living with exceptionalities or exhibiting challenging behaviors and their possibly underlying causes (mental health, physical health, environmental, sensory, confusion, frustration, etc.). Students also explore the cognitive, physical, emotional, social, and behavioural differences often associated of children with varying exceptionalities. Throughout the course, the emphasis remains on the uniqueness of an individual child and the evidence-based practices, which support specific child-centred guidance methods.

    In early learning and childcare, advocacy takes on multiple forms involving different facets within the field. Advocacy in early learning and childcare centres introduces the importance of advocacy to the profession including its effects on early learning and childcare throughout the world. Students explore how they view advocacy and learn to advocate for the care and education of young children, their families, early childhood educators, and the profession.

    Children’s communicative practices, language, literacies, and literate identities are co-constructed within a range of relationships. In this course, students learn to co-create and evaluate curriculum to enhance and develop children’s communication and literacies through multimodal meaning making practices. 

    Literacies and Play explores how to recognize and extend upon children’s wide range of experiences and immerse children in an interactive, positive, playful, and language rich environment. This course focuses on the facilitation of high quality literacy and communication curriculum for young children that recognizes the value of play.

    Early learning and childcare centre administrators must ensure their organization is professionally run and meets the needs of children, families, and staff. Early Learning and Childcare Administration provides an introduction to the skills required of an administrator to successfully open, operate, and manage a centre or day home. Students explore various strategies related to financial management, marketing, communication, and evaluation of programming.

    Successful early learning and childcare centres require knowledgeable and communicative administrators whether they work in large centres with multiple people or in a dayhome run by one individual.

    In early learning and childcare centres, inclusion is necessary to ensure each child has a positive learning experience and sense of belonging. Students reflect upon their own experiences, values, and biases to create an awareness of the connection between one’s views, privileges, and implementation of the curriculum.

    Diversity and Inclusiveness has a focus on exploring inclusiveness and equity with children as it positively builds the learning community and the local community. “All children regardless of race, religion, age, linguistic heritage, social or economic status, gender, or ability are entitled to inclusion in everyday activities and routines” (NB Curriculum Framework).

    Also, students examine Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and how students can successfully integrate the UDL principles within their own early learning and childcare centre practices.

    This course provides an introduction to the meaning of community service.  Students learn how community service can enhance a student’s educational experience, personal growth, employability, and civic responsibility. Students participate in one day of volunteering to enhance their understanding of civic responsibility and to help the New Brunswick Community College realize its vision of transforming lives and communities.

    Learners are challenged to apply human relations and interpersonal communications theory to workplace-based and real life situations. They use a problem solving perspective in suggesting and carrying out appropriate communication strategies and techniques.

    This workshop introduces students to the process of finding employment. It explores the various strategies and resources available, and examines the role of social media.

    Leadership is often associated with a position of authority, such as a manager or supervisor. However, leadership practices are demonstrated in a variety of ways that are not necessarily predetermined through a position of authority.

    Leadership From Within affords students the opportunity to explore various beliefs and viewpoints of leadership as well as expand upon their own perceptions of leadership. Students are offered the chance to consider their own leadership style by analyzing their own values, attitudes, belief systems, personal and professional goals and experiences and reframing it within the context of early childhood education.

    The field of early learning and childcare is continually changing and becoming increasingly complex. Therefore it is important to have effective leadership skills to create and sustain high quality learning and care settings.

    Leading Through Relationships explores the necessity of establishing professional, trusting, and reciprocal relationships to become an effective leader. Students develop leadership skills in relation to effective communication, critical thinking and reflection, coaching, and mentoring. Also, this course explores the professional knowledge, skills, and ethical considerations required of leaders in early learning and childcare. 

    This course examines theories of child development, milestones throughout development, and factors that influence development from the time of conception to age two. Emphasis is placed on developmental sequences in the physical/cognitive/language, and emotional/social domains of the fetus, neonate, infant, and toddler.

    Building on the knowledge acquired in Child Development: Conception to Age Two, this course examines the interrelationship between developmental milestones and factors that influence development in children from age three to twelve. Emphasis is placed on the application of developmental theories as they relate to the physical, cognitive/language, and emotional/social domains of children within this age range.


    • PSYC1091A

    A safe and healthy workplace is the responsibility of the employer and the employee. This course introduces students to the importance of working safely and addresses how employers and employees can control the hazards and risks associated with the workplace. Students will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders including WorkSafeNB, the employer and the employee in ensuring workplaces are safe.

    Over the course of history, families in Canada have become increasingly diverse. It is essential to maintain an awareness of the diversity of families in order to form and maintain reciprocal relationships.

    Families and Diversity explores the diverse nature of families from a current perspective to develop a broader sensitivity to the unique strengths and challenges of families in our society. Students also examine differing parenting styles and parent-child relationships through a variety of cultural lenses. 

    As early childhood educators, students develop techniques to maintain a family centered and culturally sensitive atmosphere in order for an early learning centre to show value and belonging for all children and their families.

    NOC Codes

    42202 - Early childhood educators and assistants

    Articulation Agreements

    Institution: University of New Brunswick Saint John - Faculty of Business
    Information: Bachelor of Applied Management Degree
    NBCC graduates of any 2 year diploma program with a GPA of 70% or greater receive 2 years full credit toward this degree and will be eligible to enter year 3 of the 4 year Bachelor of Applied Management (BAM) program.


    Institution: Cape Breton University
    Information: Bachelor of Arts Community Studies Degree (BACS).
    NBCC graduates with a minimum grade of 65% can receive up to a maximum of 45 credit hours of transfer towards the 90 credits required for CBU's 3 year BACS degree and a maximum of 51 credit hours of transfer towards the 120 credits required for CBU's 4 year BACS degree.
    Institution: Univeristy of New Brunswick - Fredericton
    Information: Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education (ECE).
    UNB agrees to recognize NBCC and its ECE diploma program for the purposes of entry into UNB’s Bed in ECE, on the condition that the NBCC ECE graduate has a minimum grade of 70% in all courses.

    Disclaimer: This web copy provides guidance to prospective students, applicants, current students, faculty and staff. Although advice is readily available on request, the responsibility for program selection ultimately rests with the student. Programs, admission requirements and other related information is subject to change.

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