Play-based learning provides foundation for young children

ECCE student Kelsey Kryzanowski at the Beaufort Children’s Centre at NIC’s Comox Valley campus.

NIC Early Childhood Care and Education certificate students are preparing to start their careers as early childhood educators embracing a child-centered approach to care.

Students are currently wrapping up their final practicum placement before graduation.

Kelsey Kryzanowski was already studying at NIC when she discovered the ECCE program.

“I originally wanted to be an elementary teacher, but when I found the ECCE program I realized it was the perfect fit for what I wanted to do,” she said. “Young children are always learning and have really positive attitudes about learning. It’s so rewarding to see the world through their eyes.”

The Early Childhood Care and Education certificate program delves deeply into information on the continuum of child development and how to support children in their learning, while providing them a strong foundation for their transition into grade school.

“Setting that foundation at a young age is so important,” said Kryzanowski. “It’s really exciting to learn about the why of what we do and how we can give them the foundation to continue to grow once they leave us. It’s amazing to see the positive influence you can have on kids to support their development.”

The program includes three practicum placements with different types of centres.

“The practicums really helped to bring together what we’re learning in class – once you see it in person, you can see how play is exploration and learning,” she said.

“It’s easy, as an adult, to forget how much learning happens through play,” said Kryzanowski. “Whether it’s learning about textures with play-doh, or how colours combine using paint, it’s so much more than just playing – it’s children exploring and learning about the world.”

For Kryzanowski, the practicums also helped her determine her goals once she’s completed her program.

“I want to work for a few years in different centres,” she said. “I find it really valuable to learn from different educators and different philosophies and approaches. My ultimate goal is to open my own in-home centre.”

Learn how you can make a difference in the lives of young children. Applications for the September intake are open now:

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