It’s not just babysitting. A child’s life is absolutely packed with developmental milestones, and the adults surrounding that little human have a serious role to play in setting them up for success.
Think about it — in the first five years most humans go from helpless infants who can’t even hold up their own heads, to dancing, singing, and social five-year-olds. That’s a lot of progress! The early years are also crucial for foundational brain development, so it’s important to surround young learners with the right activities and lessons at the right time.
Aside from parents and primary caregivers, who does this important work — that lays the bedrock for our entire society’s education and development — land on? Early childhood educators!
“It’s not just childcare. You’re teaching, you’re molding these kids for their whole entire lives and you play a huge part in their early development and early learning,” says Nicole Hamel, a graduate of the Vancouver Career College’s Early Childhood Education Program.
In the program, Early childhood educators learn to lead programming at daycare centres and preschools, how to support children in their physical and emotional growth, and support children’s learning through music, movement and play. Students also learn administration and computer skills to run a childcare centre.
Want to work in more of a support role, or help older children? Vancouver Career College also offers an Education Assistant program, which equips students to nurture children and youth, and provides special needs training. As an education assistant, you’ll work alongside teachers and often one-on-one with students to support their learning and personal care.
“I really enjoy working with kids — they really make me feel I can be myself,” Hamel says. “The things that I’ve been learning have helped me as a parent as well.”
- 72 week diploma program or 44 week certificate program.
- With the diploma program option, you’ll have all the academic requirements necessary to apply to the provincial Early Childhood Educator registry for certification as an ECE, Infant Toddler Educator (ITE) and Special Needs Educator (SNE).
- With the certificate program option, you’ll have the option to continue further education with Post Basic certifications in Special Needs or Infant/Toddler Specializations
- Both options include multiple practicum placements in real-world settings.
- 45 week diploma program.
- Graduate with over 20 certifications including First Aid, American Sign Language Basics, Suicide Intervention Skills Training and more.
- Classroom training and workplace practicum placements prepare you for a career assisting teachers and supporting students in early childhood education, primary and secondary schools, as well as in the community.