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Early Childhood Care & Education Diploma

Three-year part-time diploma (post Early Childhood Care & Education certificate)

Where: Campbell River, Comox Valley, Port Alberni, Port Hardy
Starts: Continuous entry
  • Build on your Early Childhood Care & Education certificate to advance your career and expand your knowledge in the field of early childhood education.
  • Be in demand: The BC 2025 Labour Economic Outlook predicts early childhood educators and assistants will be the seventh most in demand occupational group requiring post-secondary training in BC, with more than 8,500 job openings available to 2024.
  • Specialize your skills and receive certification to work collaboratively with families in the care of their infants, toddlers and children who require extra support.
  • Earn transfer credit toward child and youth care degree programs province-wide.

Career possibilities: Graduates qualify for positions in infant and toddler care (including developmental supports), supporting children and their families in the community, program supervision and administration.


  • Learn at your own pace. The diploma program is held part time through evening classes, Interactive TV (ITV) and online learning components. This gives you the flexibility to balance other commitments while you study.
  • Experience that employers value. Practice placements provide first-hand experience and extensive training in the field, enabling you to secure positions of greater responsibility.
  • Credit for prior learning. If you already have relevant work experience, you may receive credit for parts of the practicums. Ask an educational advisor for details.
  • Small classes, big opportunities. The blend of small class size and high quality instruction, along with valuable hands-on experience in a variety of early learning settings, helps you achieve personal, career and educational goals.
  • Approved education. NIC’s Early Childhood Care & Education diploma is approved by the BC Early Childhood Educator Registry and leads to BC Early Childhood Educator certification as an infant-toddler and/or special needs educator.


Through workshops, evening classes, online learning components, ITV and practice experience, you will explore advanced theories in child development and examine critical developmental issues of interest. You will look at more challenging child behaviors and how to use creative problem solving to achieve positive results.

You can choose to concentrate your education in two areas: working with infants and toddlers and/or working with children who require extra support. Through 200 hours of supervised practice experience for each stream, you will have opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills while working with children who require additional supports, with infants and toddlers and with their families.

As a diploma student, you will be provided with an overview of professional childcare concepts that prepare you for administrative and leadership responsibilities in early childhood programs.

Career Opportunities

The Early Childhood Care & Education diploma is designed to prepare you for work with infants and toddlers, children of varying abilities and their families. Graduates practice in a variety of early learning settings.
When applying for your certification in BC, you should forward your official NIC transcript, along with your application, to:
Early Childhood Education Registry
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Victoria BC V8W 9R4
Toll Free: 1-888-338-6622
In Greater Victoria: (250) 356-6501
If you plan to continue your education, you will find that a number of BC institutions recognize your courses for block transfer credit. The opportunity to continue into degree programs in child and youth care is available at institutions such as the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University and Capilano University. You should contact an educational advisor at your university of choice for information regarding admission and transfer credit. 

Practice Experience

Practicums are an essential component of the Early Childhood Care & Education program, giving you the opportunity to put your theory and knowledge into practice under the direction of qualified early childhood educators. Before beginning your practicum, you will have opportunity to consult with faculty and your employer (where applicable) to collaboratively plan your practicum placement. Please note, while the majority of practicums occur where you live, it may be necessary to complete a practicum outside of your community. You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from practicum settings.

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of an Early Childhood Care & Education certificate program

International Language Requirements

For international language requirements click here.

Before Classes Begin

Once accepted to the program but before classes begin, the student will be required to:

  1. Have a clear Criminal Record Clearance with the Solicitor General. As you may already have a current CRC with North Island College, Admissions will advise when a new form is required. Processing costs will be incurred by the student.

Before First Day of Practicum

  1. Complete a Practicum Portfolio which includes a current Child Care First Aid certificate. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain their first aid certification throughout the practicum.
  • A completed Personal Immunization form. This form will be sent to you by the admissions office when you have a seat in the program. It must be validated by a health care professional, ie. a physician or public health nurse at your local health unit.
  • Two (2) character reference letters attesting to your good character, temperament and ability to work with children.

Transfer Credit & Credit For Prior Learning

Students with previous course work from another accredited institution may apply to transfer course credits to NIC. For more information refer to Steps to University Transfer or contact Student Services.
Your previous life, work or study experience, unassociated with formal education, may qualify for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). Your knowledge and skills will be evaluated to determine if you meet the objectives for selected courses up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the program. To qualify for PLAR, you must apply to the program and meet all the program requirements, and complete the PLAR before entering the program or one term before the scheduled course(s). The fee for each PLAR course is 75 per cent of the regular course fee. Refer to NIC policy #4-10: Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. For information about which courses qualify for PLAR please contact the program department chair.

To Be Successful

Skills required to be successful in the program include but are not limited to the following:

  • communicate effectively
  • build relationships
  • work as part of a team as well as work independently
  • maintain confidentiality
  • demonstrate the ability to follow directions
  • display a positive attitude toward attendance and punctuality
  • maintain satisfactory level of academic theory and practical application
  • demonstrate a reasonable attitude toward self-directed learning
  • recognize limitations and seek help appropriately
  • demonstrate accountability, honesty, and reliability
  • demonstrate basic computer literacy

Program Requirements

Core Courses

  • ECC-204 Developmental Journeys – Part II – Advanced
  • ECC-215 Partnerships – Advanced – Part III
  • ECC-255 Self & Others – Part III
  • ECC-268 Supervising Early Childhood Centres

Infants & Toddlers

  • ECC-224 The Learning Child – Infants & Toddlers – Part III
  • ECC-246 Practice Experience – Infants and Toddlers

Special Needs

  • ECC-245 Practice Experience – Special Needs
  • ECC-264 Supported Child Care


Completion Requirements

  1. Attendance is required in all courses. Students that miss more than 10% of a class may be asked to repeat the course for credit.
  2. To successfully complete the program, students must successfully complete all courses with an overall average of 60% and a minimum of 55% in each course.
  3. Students are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia. Failure to adhere to these principles may result in the student being required to leave the program.

Tuition & Costs Estimate for
Fall 2017, Winter, Spring & Summer 2018

Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Grand Total
Tuition $1,070 $970 $970
NISU Fees $45 $40 $40
Lab Fees $50 $0 $0
Books $815 $815 $815
Learner Resource $55 $50 $50
Total $2,035 $1,875 $1,875 $5,785

Laurie Tulloch

Laurie Tulloch

Department Chair, Faculty

Early Childhood Care

Subjects: Early Childhood Education
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4218 | Location PNT - 205
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700
Mt. Waddington Regional Campus 250-949-7912

Paula Avender

Paula Avender
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 | Location PNT
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700 ext. 5086

Cathy Batho

Cathy Batho


Early Childhood Care

BA in Child and Youth Care (Vancouver Island University 2004)

Masters in Early Childhood Education (University of British Columbia 2015)

Subjects: Early Childhood Education
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5063
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700

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