Become an essential part of a child’s early years, where learning through play is a vital part of development, in our Early Childhood Education programs. Offering both a one-year certificate and two-year diploma, our Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs are approved for licensing in most provinces and territories and have been designed for flexibility.

Through a blend of theory and practical application, we’ll prepare you with the knowledge, experience and perspective you need to work with young children at any stage of development. And when it comes to hands-on experience, your practicum can be arranged near you. Develop a career fit for your nurturing personality and love of children in our ECE programs.

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Career Opportunities

When you graduate from either ECE program, your in-demand skills will open up opportunities in:

  • Child Care Centres
  • Early Learning Programs
  • Kindergartens
  • Preschool Programs
  • Family Group Care Programs
  • Before and After School Programs
  • Parenting Centres
  • Recreational Facilities
  • Out-of-school Care Programs
  • Day Homes

Visit ALIS website for more career information.

30+ years

of delivering Early Childhood Education

97 days

spent learning on the job in a practicum setting

1 outdoor play space

for students to gain hands-on experience



September and January (on campus or online), and May (online only)

Credential / Accreditation

Certificate (Year 1) / Diploma (Year 2)


1 - 2 years

Application Deadlines

Visit the Program Application Status page for more details.

Program Availability

View the program availability for the upcoming intakes.


New students are accepted in the Early Childhood Education certificate program for on-campus delivery for the Fall (September) term. Students wishing to enroll for the on-campus delivery in the Winter (January) term will take courses in a revised curriculum based on course availability. This admission will result in a three term curriculum for the on-campus completion of the certificate. Courses are also open on an individual basis for part-time study. 

Upon successful completion of your Early Childhood Education certificate program, you will be eligible for admission to the Early Childhood Education diploma.  In order to be considered for the diploma program, we recommend that you submit a Change of Program to the Admissions Office in your last term of study of the certificate program.  If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Admissions Office.

Students completing the certificate or diploma program through online study are accepted for terms beginning Fall (September), Winter (January) or Spring (May). Students choosing this route must contact the ECE program to plan their program.

General Admissions Requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs, as indicated in the Admission section of this calendar.

Applicants are required to have successfully completed a one-year Early Childhood Education certificate or equivalent from a recognized college, in order to enter the Early Childhood Education diploma program.  

Athabasca University

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Early Childhood Education diploma program may receive up to two years’ credit towards Athabasca University’s Bachelor of Professional Arts - Human Services major.

Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland

Lethbridge College's Early Childhood Education diploma graduates will be accepted for entry into the second year of the Honours Degree in Early Childhood Education and Care at the Institute of Technology Carlow, in Ireland, with options to obtain an Ordinary Degree or an Honours Degree. Applicants are accepted based on merit on a case-by-case basis and may be awarded scholarships based on GPA. For more information, please visit

Lakeland College

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Early Childhood Education certificate program (one year) are eligible for admission directly into the second year of Lakeland College’s Early Learning and Child Care diploma program.

Medicine Hat College

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Early Childhood Education certificate program (one year) are eligible for admission into the second year of Medicine Hat College’s Early Learning and Child Care diploma program.

University of Alberta

Lethbridge College's Early Childhood Education diploma graduates are eligible to block transfer up to 30 credits towards the Bachelor of Education (Elementary) program at the University of Alberta, provided all necessary diploma courses are completed.


Students in the online certificate or diploma program are strongly encouraged to contact the Early Childhood Education Practicum Coordinator upon their admission to the program to inquire about the process for setting up practicum placements. This process can take 2-3 months and there are deadlines that must be adhered to. All students are held to the same deadlines and requirements and failure to meet those deadlines and/or requirements may result in a delay in being able to complete a practicum placement.

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Pre-Placement Requirements

This program has a required Work-Integrated Learning Pre-Placement Requirements (WIL) component. The College dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the WIL.

Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate in the WIL setting as determined by programs, practice agencies and/or legislated by government bodies. These may include health (e.g. immunizations, screening tests, etc.), privacy and security (e.g. police information check, IT access, etc.), and OH&S requirements (e.g. CPR certification, Fire Safety, WHMIS, Mask Fit-testing, etc.).

Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) coverage - WIL placement agencies and employers usually require WCB coverage on behalf of the student.  Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Alberta are deemed to be employees of the Province of Alberta and, as such, provided WCB coverage.  In certain instances for students outside of Alberta, WCB coverage may not be provided (e.g. non-Alberta residents taking a course solely through distance learning with a WIL placement outside of Alberta).  These students are advised to contact the program prior to application.

Students with disabilities who may require accommodations must schedule an appointment with Accessibility Services at Lethbridge College preferably upon acceptance to the program and no later than the Add/Drop deadline to identify potential impacts of their disabilities in the WIL setting. As part of this process, it may be necessary to collaborate with WIL supervisors to determine appropriate accommodations that do not compromise the health and safety of clients, essential placement requirements, or mandatory licensing processes. Failure to consult with Accessibility Services in a timely fashion may compromise the student's WIL placement and opportunities for success in the WIL setting.

In order to participate in a WIL, a student may be required to complete a Police Information Check or other type of Security Clearance to the satisfaction of Lethbridge College and the WIL organization. Completion of a WIL does not guarantee employment with a WIL organization. Many disciplines are provincially or otherwise regulated (e.g. health professions under Alberta's Health Professions Act); such regulation is beyond Lethbridge College's control. Completion of a WIL and graduation from a certain program do not guarantee one's licensure or admission into a regulatory body. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with a representative of the relevant regulatory body if they have concerns.

WIL sites will include Lethbridge and may include surrounding rural communities. WIL’s may include day, evening, and/or weekend schedules. Students will be expected to travel to assigned sites and will be responsible for arranging travel and any associated costs.

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Delivery Formats

The Early Childhood Education programs are available through on-campus delivery, which may include some blended delivery components, as well as a fully online delivery.


This program includes both face-to-face/on-campus and online delivery in both synchronous (learning occurs in real-time on a set schedule) and asynchronous (learning does not occur at the same time or same place) formats.

On Campus

This program is delivered in a face-to-face format on the main Lethbridge College campus. Lectures, labs and hands-on training opportunities will all take place on campus in Lethbridge.


This program is fully delivered online with both synchronous (learning occurs in real-time on a set schedule) and asynchronous (learning does not occur at the same time or same place) components.


View all courses

(available on the Main campus or online)

Course Title Credits
Year 1
Term I
ECE-1150 Observation and Documentation in ECE 1.5
ECE-1155 Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3
ECE-1156 Development Through Play 3
ECE-1180 Practicum I 1.5
ENG-1150 Composition 3
PSY-1171 Child Growth and Development 3
  Credits 15
Term II
ECE-1151 Health, Safety and Nutrition 3
ECE-1154 Guiding Children's Behavior 3
ECE-1162 Creative Experiences I 3
ECE-1168 Children's Outdoor Play 3
ECE-1181 Practicum II 3
PSY-1191 The Developing Brain 3
  Credits 18
  Total Credits 33

(Available Online Learning Only)

Course Title Credits
Year 2
ECE-2250 Pedagogical Documentation 3
ECE-2254 Child, Family and Community 3
ECE-2255 School-Aged Programming 3
ECE-2256 Pedagogical Leadership 3
ECE-2260 Infant and Toddler Programming 3
ECE-2262 Creative Experiences II 3
ECE-2263 Creative Experiences III 3
ECE-2264 Pre-School Programming 3
ECE-2280 Practicum III 3
ECE-2281 Practicum IV 3
  Credits 30
  Total Credits 30
Prior Learning Assessment

If you have experience working in this field of study, you may be eligible for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). Please direct your inquiries to the ECE program.

View course timetables

Tuition and Fees

Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1 (Certificate)
Year 2 (Diploma)
View detailed program cost estimates
International Students
Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1 (Certificate)
Year 2 (Diploma)

Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.

Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.

Students are responsible for the cost of the field trips relating to this program.

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