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 a one-year certificate, a two-year diploma, and a one-year internship certificate for those already working in the field, 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 (on campus or online), January (internship), and May (online only)

Credential / Accreditation

Certificate (Year 1) / Diploma (Year 2)


One year or two 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 one-year 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.

New students accepted in the nine-month Early Childhood Education internship certificate program must already be working in the field. Students will complete 486 hours of work-integrated learning over nine months to complete the credential and satisfy the work-integrated learning commitment of 51% of total education occurring through on the job mentorship. Theoretical knowledge will be applied directly in the workplace during daily activities.  

Upon successful completion of either Early Childhood Education certificate program, you will be eligible for admission to the Early Childhood Education diploma.  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. Students must be employed in a licensed or regulated early learning setting to enroll in the internship program.

Applicants are required to have successfully completed a one-year Early Childhood Education certificate or equivalent from a recognized college to enter the Early Childhood Education diploma program.  Transfer students with related credentials will be accepted into the program after being assessed on an individual basis to determine whether they are required to take bridging courses to meet diploma outcomes.

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.

Bow Valley College

Lethbridge College's Early Childhood Education certificate graduates with a minimum mark of 64% and completion of additional courses (INS 1155, SOC 2270, and COM 1159 or COM 1162) are eligible to block transfer up to 37 credits towards the Early Childhood Education and Development diploma at Bow Valley College.

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 may include Lethbridge, surrounding rural communities, and may extend beyond these boundaries depending on WIL site availability and approvals.   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.

Hyflex - Internship

This program is offered both on-campus and online; lectures and hands-on training opportunities are delivered through video conference, allowing students the option to attend classes in-person or remotely.

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.

Course Title Credits
Term I
ENG 1150 Composition 3 credits
PSY 1171 Child Growth & Development  3 credits
ECE 1155 Into to ECE 3 credits
ECE 1156 Development Thru Play 3 credits
ECE 1185 Practicum 3 credits
Term II    
ECE 1151 Health, Nutrition & Safety   3 credits
ECE 1154 Guiding Children’s Behaviour  3 credits
ECE 1168 Children’s Outdoor Play 3 credits
PSY 1191 The Developing Brain 3 credits
ECE 1187 Practicum II 6 credits
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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