Early Learning & Child Care

Early Learning and Child Care

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Do you have the interest and dedication to become an early childhood educator who will support children’s learning and development in meaningful and authentic ways? Learning through play is an integral part of childhood and an important building block in the development of young children. The Early Learning and Child Care major in the Bachelor of Child Studies degree program, provides the knowledge and skills to adopt a variety of professional roles and gain meaningful employment in the field. You will learn how to create a safe and stimulating play environments for children (infancy to age 12), engage in program and curriculum design, work with children and families, and collaborate with professionals in a variety of community settings.

Practical experienceThroughout the four-year program, experiential learning components allow you to put classroom theory into practice and gain valuable skills to support your future career. Community-based practicums bring classroom and fieldwork learning together and prepare you for the workforce or graduate and professional studies.

CertificationThe Early Learning and Child Care major meets 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/program development and implementation
  • nutrition and health
  • communication and collaboration with children, families and community members
  • creating responsive learning environments

The Bachelor of Child Studies, Early Learning and Child Care major equips students with foundational knowledge by offering core curriculum courses as well as general education courses and work experience components. This gives students the option  to choose and add a minor to complement their major.

Career choicesGraduates 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 centres. Your future career might be in:

  • Early Childhood Education (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 age 12), families and communities.
  • Special and Inclusive Education — support children with exceptionalities and their families by providing learning opportunities, assistance and resources.
  • Leadership in Early Learning and Child Care programs — provide leadership to frontline practitioners and develop programs to support them in having a positive impact on children, youth and families.

Research opportunitiesStudents are encouraged to participate in research in this growing field. Current faculty research topics include:

  • promoting outdoor/nature play and physical literacy
  • transcultural teaching and learning in ECE
  • human rights and social justice in Child Studies
  • sociocultural and child developmental perspectives
  • curriculum frameworks
  • mapping family/community-based resources
  • community coalition development
  • promoting resilience in children and families