Ontario College Diploma | 5 Semesters | Barrydowne and Distance Study

Our alternate delivery format in early childhood education is geared specifically to those who are currently working in the field of ECE (must be working for a minimum of six months, directly with children). This unique alternate delivery program is the only one of this type in Ontario and allows you to complete your diploma while continuing to work in the field.

As a student in Early Childhood Education at Cambrian College, you will have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the field of early learning and child care. Your studies will blend the theory of child growth and development with practical application experiences in the field.  Through interactive classroom experiences, you will design, plan, implement, and evaluate play-based learning for young children from birth to twelve years of age.

The program will prepare you to work with and support the diverse needs of the children and families you will encounter in your current and future work. You will build a foundation of understanding that children learn through play. This learning approach, combined with a culturally-relevant environment, will reflect that children are curious, capable, competent and rich in potential.

This hybrid program includes brief, intensive, in-person learning (Sudbury, ON), online learning, and facilitated learning. Course credits and/or previous work experience may qualify you to receive Cambrian course credits through our Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition process (PLAR).

Program Highlights

  • 5 semesters – 2 years

  • Compressed course delivery

  • Faculty with expertise across the curriculum

  • Combination of facilitated distance study and intensive on-campus (Sudbury, ON), in-person sessions

  • Continue to work while completing courses

  • The only alternate delivery program of this type in Ontario


Field placements are an important component of the program. Since you will already have work experience coming into the program, an individualized placement plan will be developed with you and for you.

Students will be responsible for any expenses incurred related to placement. Agencies will require students to have additional medical and non-medical documents prior to the completion of any community based placement.  

Required documentation includes:

  • a vulnerable sector check,
  • health documentation (up-to-date immunization, Two-step TB test, freedom from communicable disease)
  • First Aid/CPR (for placements 2, 3,and 4)
  • Field certifications - Bill 18 requirements   

Registration to Practice – Early Childhood Education Designation

Persons who wish to work within the College of Early Childhood Education's scope of practice must apply for registration with the College of Early Childhood Educators. A requirement to apply for registration is possession of an Early Childhood Education diploma from an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology. It is the responsibility of the graduate to register with the College of Early Childhood Educators.

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How to Apply

Community Services

Admission Requirements

For graduates of the new curriculum (OSS): Ontario Secondary School Diploma (30 credits) or equivalent or mature student status, including:

  • Any grade 12 English (C) or (U)


  • Any grade 11 or 12 family studies (C), (U), or (M)

  • Computer competency in relevant software

Additional Requirements

  • Two-step TB test

  • Standard First Aid Certificate (prior to second field placement)

  • Vulnerable Sector Check is required prior to field placements

  • Record of up-to-date immunizations

  • Freedom from communicable diseases and fit to work with young children

  • Field certifications (Bill 18 requirements)

  • Currently working in the field of ECE, directly with children, for a minimum of six months


Program Delivery


This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Fall Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Fall 2023
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2024
  3. SEMESTER 3 Fall 2024
  4. SEMESTER 4 Winter 2025
  5. SEMESTER 5 Spring 2025

For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the Academic Schedule on our website.

Program of Study for 2023-24 Academic Year 

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Credits
ECE 1050 Health & Nutrition 3
ECE 1115 Intro Early Childhood Education 3
ECE 1024 Child Growth and Development 3
ECE 1130 Field Seminar I 1
ECE 1140 The Creative Learning Environment 3
ENG 1002 College Communications 3
ISP 1046 Introduction to Computers 1
PSY 1050 Introduction To Psychology I 3
Semester 2
ECE 1201 Curriculum Planning I 3
ECE 1205 Observation and Documentation 3
ECE 1230 Field Seminar II 1
ECE 1239 Field Practicum II 6
ECE 1295 Child Guidance 3
One General Education course. 1 3
Semester 3
ECE 2040 Culturally Relevant Practice 3
ECE 2301 Curriculum Planning II 3
ECE 2320 Infant and Toddler Care 3
ECE 2330 Field Seminar III 1
ECE 2339 Field Practicum III 4
Semester 4
ECE 2395 Family Liaison 3
ECE 2450 Inclusive Theory & Practices 3
ECE 2455 Program for the School Age Child 4
ENG 1700 Communications II 3
One General Education course. 1 3
Semester 5
ECE 1012 Leadership in ECE 3
ECE 1013 Child Abuse 3
ECE 2315 Curriculum Models In ECE 3
ECE 2430 Field Seminar IV 1
ECE 2439 Field Practicum IV 6
One General Education course. 1 3
 Total Credits88

For more information regarding General Education courses, click here.


Tuition and Ancillary Fees

Please see our fees page for the breakdown of tuition and mandatory ancillary fees by program and semester for both domestic and international students.

Books & Supplies

The cost of books and supplies for Year 1 is approximately $2,000. This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change. 

Graduate Options

Employment Opportunities

Graduates may find career opportunities as Early Childhood Educators working with a variety of age groups including infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children in:

  • Early Learning and Child Care Centres (Centre based and/or Home Childcare)

  • EarlyON Child and Family Centres

  • Kindergarten classrooms

Graduates are also prepared for employment opportunities in/as:

  • Agencies that provide services to young children and their families

  • Licensed Home Child Care Visitors

  • Child and Family Resource Workers that support inclusive practices

  • Centres for Newcomer Children

  • Nursery Schools/Parent Co-operative Centres

College/University Degree Opportunities

Graduates from this program may continue their studies at college/university and may receive credit for their prior College education.

Refer to College/University Agreements for further information.

Please note: Cambrian College strives to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website. Please note that the academic curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that Cambrian's programs and courses remain relevant. The College reserves the right to cancel or make changes to any course or program, fee, procedure, or campus location at any time.