Early Childhood Education diploma

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Early Childhood Education (ECE)?
‌ The first five years of a child’s life are the most formative and highly important to their development. The needs of preschool children, which once received little attention from educators and society, have now become a top priority.  You’ve always loved kids and think a career working with young children is ideal for you. This field can be a fun way to earn a living.

What type of career can I expect?
Your career in ECE will give you a chance to fill a meaningful and fulfilling role in society. Your job prospects after completing this program are excellent. More than 90 per cent of our graduates find work in daycare, parent cooperative preschools, nursery schools, special needs centres, the public school system, and infant/toddler centres. Recent shifts in society mean the childhood education field is growing, and new centres for the care of children less than three years old have led to an increase in infant and toddler care jobs. There are also career options with community service organizations, the Ministry for Children and Family Development, hospitals, the public school system, parks and recreation departments, and many private sector possibilities.

Why study at UFV?
You have a life and we recognize that. At UFV you have options that help you balance your life with your education and career ambitions. You can personalize your education to meet your needs and earn the ECE certificate and the ECE diploma. As a UFV student, you can take our three-semester certificate program in ECE and if you want to continue your studies, you can earn your ECE diploma with a choice of two specialty options that cover special needs and infancy. Diploma courses can be taken in the evenings (except for the practicum). This will give you the option of completing it on a full- or part-time basis. As a graduate of the certificate or diploma program, you can then “ladder” into UFV’s Child and Youth Care bachelor’s degree program.

The provincial publication Competencies in Early Childhood Education is available in the UFV bookstore and library and is recommended reading if you’re thinking of taking this program. Our ECE program meets the licensing requirements of the Provincial Community Care Facilities Licensing Board and is based on the provincial curriculum.

What do I need to get in?
To study in this program, you must be at least 19 years of age. To complete practicum, you must also be able to provide your own transportation to field sites. When you apply, you’ll be required to meet the English requirements.   There are many ways to meet this requirement.  One of the requirements for example is to have completed English 12 in high school with a C+ or better.   If you did not meet that requirement there are many other ways you can meet it.   Please review the UFV calendar to find out how. You’ll then be asked to attend an orientation meeting and interview. You can also contact the Department Advisor.

Anything else I need to know?
As you will eventually be working with young children, it is strongly recommended that you have a current first aid certificate and updated Rubella and TB clearance. A criminal record check is mandatory before you begin your practicum. After completing this program, with an additional 500 hours of supervised work and a first aid certificate, you can be licensed as an early childhood educator by the Provincial Licensing Board.

I’m interested. What should I do next?
Check out UFV’s online calendar at www.ufv.ca/calendar. Be sure to review the section about our ECE programs carefully and then Apply Online. The application fee is $45, if you are a new student.

What type of courses can I expect to take?
If you’re completing the ECE certificate, UFV offers a four-semester program alternating at both the Abbotsford and Chilliwack campuses. Intakes are in September. You might want to complete CMNS 155/ENG 105 and HSER 120 before entering the program, or take these courses in your first year.

Program Outline
Please see UFV Calendar for Program Outline. 

Specialized areas
Once you graduate with an ECE certificate you can then, if you choose, take advanced courses in more specialized areas. Two ECE program options — Infancy and Special Needs — share common core courses. Completion of the core and one set of specialty courses will lead to certification as a special needs or infancy supervisor.  These courses can be taken on a part-time basis if you choose.

How much will it cost? Can I afford to take this program?
It’s best to read the calendar specific tuition fees, but you should be prepared to spend about $800 each semester on books and supplies. Books and additional supplies are about $100 per course. It’s a good idea to visit UFV’s Financial Aid and Awards office for information about the $12 million in federal and provincial student loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships awarded to UFV students annually. A helpful budget planning worksheet is available online at www.ufv.ca/fineaid/budget.

Sounds good. When should I apply?
Apply right away. UFV’s ECE program has cohorts in Abbotsford and Chilliwack that start every September. There are two intakes each year on each campus, but the dates vary. It’s best to begin the application process immediately, and contact the ECE department at 604-854-4580 to determine the next application deadline.

What kind of assistance is there to help me adjust?
Please visit www.ufv.ca/studentservices to learn about the broad range of services designed to help you learn about and adjust to the university environment.

I’m not sure that this program is for me. Can I speak with someone about my options?Absolutely, we’d love to hear from you. If you’re unsure of your direction, contact Student Services at 1-888-504-7441 to arrange a tour, attend a Becoming a Student info session, connect with an educational advisor, or arrange for career counselling. Also, feel free to contact our Early Childhood Education department at 604-854-4580 to speak with someone who can answer more of  your questions.

Additional information


Take the next step in your early childhood education career

Add a diploma to your ECE certificate and earn a specialty in infancy or special needs to open new doors in the workplace, where specialized skills are at a premium

Learn more

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