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Early Learning and Child Care Certificate

Red Deer College’s Academic Calendar outlines program content, admission requirements, transfer features and delivery options for RDC's Early Learning & Childcare Certificate program, offered in the School of Education.

1 year

-Main Campus
The Program

The importance of the early years in a child's development is well established. There is a critical need for a variety of programs for children and families and for trained staff to ensure children's developmental needs are being met. The Early Learning and Child Care Program trains professionals to work with children from birth to eight years, with some related preparation for working with children from eight to twelve years of age. Throughout the program, there is an emphasis on developing caring relationships with children and families.

A one-year certificate can help prepare students for a rewarding career. This program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop competencies in such areas as child development, interpersonal relations, curriculum content, family studies, exceptional children, and program management.

Focus is placed on the integration of theory and practice. This is accomplished by an extended practicum in a variety of early learning and care program environments.

RDP offers a one-year certificate in Early Learning and Child Care. Each course you take focuses on a different topic important to those who work with young children - everything from child development, to guiding behavior, to planning snacks and bulletin boards, to planning and participating in play experiences, to interacting with children who have special needs.

The ELCC department operates in partnership with college and community programs serving children from birth to twelve years of age. Students work in practicum placements in these programs as a method of integrating theory and practice. There are two practicum courses in the ELCC program.

Program Content
  • COMM 150 Fundamentals of College and Workplace Writing or COMM 250 Business and Workplace Writing 
  • ELCC 201 Foundations of Early Childhood Development  
  • ELCC 206 Introduction to Special Needs
  • ELCC 210 Practicum I  
  • ELCC 211 Child Development  
  • ELCC 212 Play and Documentation
  • ELCC 213 Interpersonal Relations  
  • ELCC 215 Literacies and Dramatic Play
  • ELCC 217 Guiding Behaviour
  • ELCC 218 Responsive Experiences
  • ELCC 220 Practicum II

Note: If they qualify, students are encouraged to replace COMM 150 with a 200 level COMM or ENGL. Students with 50% or greater in ELA 30-1 may take ENGL 219. Students with 60% or greater in ELA 30-1 may take COMM 250. COMM 150 does not have a prerequisite.

Delivery Options

The Certificate in Early Learning and Child Care may be taken several different ways. Students may attend part-time or full-time on the RDP campus or enroll in one of our Outreach Delivery courses. This allows students to take ELCC courses while staying in their community for most or all of the experience. There are two Outreach Delivery methods for the Certificate:  online or through Flexible Learning. Students taking online courses complete their courses and practicums in their community. Flexible Learning courses are based in Red Deer and combine the strengths of hands-on classroom activities with computer-facilitated support. Students in Flexible Learning attend on-site classes in Red Deer two Saturdays per course. The entire cycle of ELCC Distance Certificate courses may be completed part-time over a two year period. The online Certificate can be completed in one year. This multi-delivery approach is highly effective in meeting the diverse needs of adult students. A student wanting full-time studies could enroll in on-campus, online, or a combination of delivery methods.

Students can enter the program in September, January or May and can register as part-time or full-time students.

See Flexible Learning for more information.

Special Fees and Expenses

Practicum courses are usually in the Red Deer area, but you should expect some extra costs for travel, clothes, etc.

Communications Course Placement Testing

Students will be required to take a Communications and Skills Assessment Test before registering in a 200-level written communications course.  A minimum score of 530 on the Combined Reading and Writing and 7 on the WritePlacer Test is required.

NOTE:  COMM 150 and 250 are course requirements for the Early Learning & Childcare, Certificate.  However, if students achieve a satisfactory mark on their Communications Skills Assessment, they will be exempt from COMM 150 and will only need to take COMM 250.  

NOTE:   If a student achieves 60% or greater in ELA 30-1 or equivalent, they are exempt from having to take the Communications Skills Assessment, their registration will be cancelled in COMM 150 and they will only need to take COMM 250.

We understand that you still have questions about the programs.
You can talk to us and we can help.

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