Early Childhood Education Certificate Program

  • Delivery Method: In-Class
  • Duration: 46 weeks
  • Starts: Twice per year (April + September)
  • Credential: Certificate
  • Designation: Early Childhood Educator
  • Wages: Up to $19.00/hour

Early Childhood Education is an extremely rewarding profession. There is a great demand across British Columbia for qualified and dedicated Early Childhood Educators that can provide superior care and education for children from birth to school age.

The first five years of a child’s life are the most formative and highly important to their development. The needs of preschool children have become a top priority. As an Early Childhood Educator you will fill a meaningful and fulfilling role in society. Your job prospects after completing this program are excellent, as over 98 per cent of Stenberg Early Childhood Education program graduates find employment within six months of program completion in daycare, preschools, nursery schools, special needs centres, public schools, and infant/toddler centres.

Articulation (Credit Transfer)

Stenberg College participates with other recognized B.C. post-secondary institutions in a credit transfer arrangement that allows for increased transparency and student success for those in the field of Early Learning and care studies. Formalized credit transfer agreements are in place with other post-secondary institutions offering programs in Early Childhood Education to provide our students with options should they choose to continue their academic studies towards degree programs or need re-locate within the province. In order to receive a Stenberg College program certificate or diploma, the residency requirement is a minimum of 50% of course load be completed at Stenberg College.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of Grade 12 or 19 years of age or older
  • Passing Stenberg College entrance examination
  • Passing Stenberg College entrance interview
  • Successful completion of a short written essay
  • Passing Verbal Test of English if English is a Second Language
  • Completion of a Criminal Record Consent Form under the Criminal Record Review Act

Prior to Program Admission, Program Advisors will outline practice education requirements for the program. Upon enrollment, students will be informed of next steps and timelines. Non-compliance could result in program dismissal. Requirements for practice education placements include: Students must provide the following to their Program Advisor prior to program start:

  • Acceptable Criminal Record Search under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • Proof of Immunity Status as required by industry
  • Acceptable Medical Examination Form completed by a physician

Program Advisors will work with students to obtain the following:

  • Proof of 50 hours of volunteer work with children aged 3-5
  • Reference letter stating suitability to work with children

NB: Additional criteria may be required to fulfill industry guidelines; students will be informed in advance

Financing Your Education

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance funding for education, government student loans, as well as other financing options; Stenberg’s Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

Student Stories

Read stories from our students and grads about their experience with the Early Childhood Education program at Stenberg.

Natalie Castro

Natalie Castro enrolled at Stenberg after a number of years of working in the retail industry. “I have three children, and both my husband and I have large families, so I was always surrounded by kids, which I loved. I’m a very nurturing person by nature, and thought that I would be well-suited to a position working with young children.”

Reflecting on her experience in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, Natalie shared that the program was a period of immense personal growth. “The program allowed me to be a better person. I learned a lot about myself, as a person and a parent. I learned to be more patient with myself. I learned to be patient with others. As a parent, I felt like I was familiar with a lot of childcare principles, but the program really enhanced my knowledge and opened my eyes to the variety of educational techniques that exist for infants and toddlers.

“I think the program made me a better person in all aspects of my life.”

Natalie’s positive experience during the ECE program, her hunger for knowledge, and her desire to work in a school setting assisting children with disabilities led her to enroll in Stenberg’s Education Assistant program. “I worked really hard, not only to be the best but to bring out the best in everybody else in my class. I’m the type of person to encourage and support anybody and everybody in anything that I’m doing and that’s what I love to do. I felt like I would have a greater opportunity to support and encourage children with disabilities and learning difficulties in elementary and high schools, but before the ECE program I never believed that I would have the patience to do so…I had worked with children with autism before but because I was young, my maturity level was not that high. The ECE program also allowed me to learn about different types of disabilities that other children have that I wouldn’t have thought possible, and helped me to believe that I have the ability to work in education intervention at any level I choose.”

More Like This


Stenberg College offers the Post-Basic Infant Toddler and Special Needs Early Childhood Educator Program (Dual Diploma) to those who have already completed an Early Childhood Education Basic (Certificate) level program.

Do you enjoy working with children? Do you want a rewarding career helping individuals with challenges achieve their full potential? Consider a career as an Education Assistant.