Early Learning and Child Care
Do you still feel like a child at heart but have the dedication to become an educator and role model that will help to shape the next generation? It’s not always just fun and games, but it’s a big part. Learning through play is an integral part of child development and it’s up to you to lead the way.
Play is more than just fun — it’s an important building block in the development of young children. The BCST — Early Learning and Child Care major gives you the skills to make a living by playing — and learning — in a variety of roles. You’ll learn how to create a safe and stimulating play environment for children from infancy to age 12.
Throughout each year of the four-year program, experiential learning components in- and outside the classroom will allow you to put classroom theory into practice and gain the valuable skills that will support you later on in your career. Community-based practicums will help to bring your learning together and prepare you for the workforce or graduate/professional studies.
The Early Learning and Child Care major is designed to meet the certification requirements of a Child Development Supervisor under the Alberta Ministry of Human Services Staff Qualifications branch.
You will gain fundamental knowledge and skills in:
- child development
- learning through play
- curriculum development and implementation
- nutrition and health
- communication with children and parents
The BCST — Early Learning and Child Care major equips students with foundational knowledge by building upon the curriculum/courses previously offered in the Early Learning and Child Care Diploma and Certificate programs to provide a four-year degree that is supported by a balance of General Education courses and work experience components, which gives students the option to add a minor to complement their major.
Graduates are in high demand, and you will find a variety of work in early learning programs; child care and kindergarten programs, family childcare and school age care agencies, parent link and family resource centers. Your job title could be:
- Early childhood educator (ECE) — with a solid understanding of how children learn, you can co-construct curriculum to help children grow and develop. You will primarily be working with children birth to the age of five.
- Inclusion specialist —support children with special needs and their families by providing learning opportunities, assistance and resources.
- Leadership roles in childcare programs — provide leadership to frontline practitioners and develop programs to support them in having a positive impact on children, youth and families.
Students are encouraged to participate in research in this growing field. Current faculty research topics include:
- promoting physical activity
- mapping family/community based resources
- community coalition development
- promoting reliance in children and families