Early Childhood Education

City: Sarnia
Two-Year with Placement Ontario College Diploma
Sep Open


Do you have a passion for making a difference in the lives of young children? Let our caring faculty support you as you gain the skills and competencies to become an Early Childhood Educator.

Our two-year program blends classroom theory and hands-on practical experience both in our beautiful new state of the art classroom and through community field placements. This dynamic combination gives students the knowledge and skills to work with young children aged 0-12 years in a variety of settings, while preparing them for this in-demand profession.

Students graduate with over 600 hours of practical experience through placements in child care centres (infant, toddler and preschool), drop-in centres, Indigenous child care centres, as well as kindergarten classrooms. Students also have the unique opportunity to complete a placement in our on-site EarlyON Child and Family Centre. Our on-site Parent & Professional Resource Centre offers valuable resources for curriculum planning, research, and professional development.

Admission Requirements

O.S.S.D. or equivalent with:

  • Grade 12 English C or U

Mature Student Assessment for this program is available in the subject of English for the purpose of demonstrating proficiency in this required admission subject. For all other admission requirements, applicants must complete the required course(s) as listed above. For more information, please contact counselling@lambtoncollege.ca. Review the Mature Student Admission process.

Academic admission requirements can be obtained through Academic Upgrading and the Pre-Programs at Lambton College.

ECE Ontario Grants - Education Grant

The education grant is available to cover tuition fees related to study in a recognized Early Childhood Education diploma program.

Students who have worked for at least six months (past or present) within the following areas may be eligible for this grant:

  • Licensed home or centre-based child care agencies
  • Publicly funded schools
  • Private schools
  • Other formal early learning child care, child and family programs, or curriculum linked school programming

For application information and to see if you qualify, visit the Ontario Education Grant website offered by the ECE Qualifications Upgrade program.


  • Year 1 $4,124.34
  • Year 2 $4,038.42

Please Note: These fees apply to the 2024-2025 academic year and are subject to change. Fees do not include books (unless specifically noted), supplies or living costs.

Additional Fees

Costs Associated with Placement

Students are responsible for providing the following documents or training at their own expense:

  • Police Records Check with Vulnerable Sector
  • Standard First Aid and CPR (Level C)
  • Health Clearance

There may be additional fees incurred for classroom assignments and field placement.

Technology Requirements

In order to keep pace with the requirements of each and every course in your program, Lambton College requires that each student have access to a laptop while studying at our college.

Labs & Equipment


Foundations of ECE

This course is designed to familiarize students with early childhood education from theoretical, practical, and political points of view. Various types of early learning and care will be examined in relation to the needs of children, families and educators. Students will be introduced to Ministry of Education documents and regulations, in addition to professional organizations and applicable legislation which affects early learning and care policies and operations.

Health, Safety & Nutrition

This course will identify components of a safe and health environment which meets the requirements of current legislation and regulatory bodies. The health and nutritional needs of young children are identified, and the implementation of appropriate environments and practices are discussed.

Field & Seminar I

This course introduces the student to Early Childhood environments through placements in a variety of settings. Through practice, planning, observation, report writing, and weekly seminars the student prepares for the role of an Early Childhood Educator.

Play Based Learning I - Creative Arts

This course introduces students to planning purposeful, creative experiences into their practical settings through hands on experiences in visual art, sensory bins, music and movement, students will learn to plan for children ages 0-12 years.

Critical Thinking & Writing

In this writing course, students respond to current issues and news articles via various styles of paragraphs and essays. Students practice thinking critically and organize and hone their writing to ensure clarity and correctness in their messages. Students explore different perspectives, and through synthesis, analysis, and response, strive for clarity of message and diplomatic expression of opinion based on fact. One of the pillars of Lambton College is a commitment to sustainability and equity, diversity, and inclusion, including Indigenization of the curriculum; where appropriate, readings in this course will reflect this commitment. Critical Thinking and Writing lays the foundation for a subsequent research-writing course.

Child Development - The Early Years

This course provides a comprehensive study of child development. Topics include; various theories and theorists who have made the greatest contribution to our understanding of human development; the specific physical, language, social, emotional and cognitive developmental milestones that occur from conception through the formative years; the social/ecological context that impact development; a review of the ELECT document, how does learning happen, and current research that is relevant to the learning outcomes.

Observation & Documentation

This course is based on the premise that observation is a critical element of the Early Childhood Educator's role. This course is an introduction to the developmental milestones from conception through age 12. Each unit of study will review a variety of observation and documentation tools and their effectiveness in developing curriculum in a variety of Early Childhood environments. Through guided observations, the student will gain experience using a variety of observation and documentation tools.

Play Based Learning II - Storytelling & Literacy

This course focuses on developing literacy (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in young children. Materials and methods that develop literacy in developmentally appropriate environments from birth through school age are explored. Techniques of reading aloud to children as well as story-telling and preparation of materials such as flannel boards and puppets are included in this course.

Infant & Toddler Curriculum

This course focuses on the developmental needs of the children placing special emphasis on observation of the developing child, from conception through toddler years. Appropriate care strategies, learning environment, activities, experiences and play materials for this group will be discussed.

Field & Seminar II

This course is a continuation of ECE 1149. The student continues to experience Early Childhood environments through placements in a variety of settings. Through practice, planning, observation, report writing and weekly seminars the student prepares for the role of Early Childhood Educator.

School Age Curriculum

This course will explore school-age curriculum and development and will prepare students to work with school-age children in full-day early learning kindergarten programs, before and after school programs, and recreation programs.

General Education Elective

Play Based Learning III - STEM

This course introduces the student to various types of, science, technology, math, blocks and woodworking experiences for children aged 0-12 years.

Field & Seminar III

This course is a continuation of ECE 1259. The student continues to experience Early Childhood environments through placements in a variety of settings. Through practice, planning, observation, documentation, and weekly seminars the student prepares for the role of the Early Childhood Educator.

Pedagogy & Curriculum Models

This course provides a forum for in class and online discussions of specific philosophical questions and their application to Early Childhood Education settings today. An introduction to a variety of innovative curriculum approaches that can be applied to current Early Childhood Education programs will be undertaken. An examination of personal values, beliefs and practices and how they are related to the diverse theoretical approaches to Early Childhood Education will result in the development of a personal philosophy statement.


This course focuses on diversity education, anti-bias approach, effective communication strategies, inclusionary practices, meeting diverse family needs and sensitivity awareness.

General Education Elective (Select 2)

Current Practices

An early childhood educator's commitment to "lifelong learning" implies an understanding that the ECE field continually changes. Keeping current allows early childhood educators to improve their practice. This course is designed to investigate the concepts of professionalism and advocacy as it relates to professional development and practice.

Field & Seminar IV

This course is a continuation of ECE 2359. The student will continue to experience Early Childhood environments through placements in a variety of settings. Through practice, planning, observation, documentation, and weekly seminars the student will prepare for the role of the Early Childhood Educator.

Professionalism & Group Dynamics

This course is designed to further investigate the concepts of professionalism and advocacy. The principles of managing Early Childhood programs will be emphasized. Components include effective leadership and management skills, a review of the legislation, staffing, record keeping, and managing the budget. Advocacy will be explored and related to current issues and trends in the legislation.

Children with Diverse Abilities

Early Childhood environments include children with diverse abilities. This course prepares the student to meet these abilities through a variety of developmentally appropriate curriculum. Inclusionary practices and collaboration with families and community agencies will be analyzed.

Working with Families

This course lays the foundation for identifying strategies for establishing positive family-teacher partnerships in early childhood environments. Respecting diverse family structures is critical to this course. Benefits and challenges to family-teacher relationships are examined. Strategies for establishing effective partnerships; creating welcoming environments; supporting new families; encouraging family involvement; maintaining effective verbal and written communication; and sharing guidance strategies will be examined.


Have Questions?

If you have any questions about this program, the application process, or anything about studying at Lambton College, reach out to us.

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Program Information

School of Fire Science, Health & Community Services

After Graduation

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates have a diverse and dynamic set of skills for the evolving profession of Early Childhood Education. Our graduates have found rewarding employment opportunities in a variety of settings including child care centres, before and after school programs, with the school boards as teaching partners in the Kindergarten Program and early learning and family centres. With additional education, graduates can also work as resource teachers and educational assistants.

Accreditations & Certifications

Early Childhood Educator Certification

Graduates must apply to the College of Early Childhood Educators in order to practice as (or use the title of) Early Childhood Educators in Ontario.


Transfer to Programs within Ontario

We’ve worked with Ontario colleges to provide the following transfer opportunities:

Algonquin College
  • Honours Bachelor of Early Learning & Community Development
Brock University
  • Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
Lakehead University
  • Multiple Degree Options
Laurentian University
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Nipissing University
  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Social Work
Ryerson University
  • Bachelor of Arts in Disability Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies
Seneca College
  • Honours Bachelor of Child Development
Sheridan College
  • Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership
University of Guelph
  • Bachelor of Applied Science
University of Guelph-Humber
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Degree Completion
University of Windsor
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts - Multiple Majors

Want to see more Ontario transfers? Visit ONTransfer.ca.

Transfer to Programs outside of Ontario

Institute of Technology Tralee - Ireland
Institute of Technology Slingo - Ireland


Student sitting in common areas on her ipad.
Proof of certain vaccinations and police record checks may be required.

Vaccinations & Police Record Checks

Students considering this program should be aware that there may be field and clinical placement requirements. Many placements require students have proof of certain vaccinations and police record checks.

Once you’ve applied, you can log in to mylambton.ca and view the program-specific Field & Clinical Placement Requirements. If you need information about these requirement before applying, please contact placementinfo@lambtoncollege.ca.

More Information

Technology Requirements

It is recommended that students purchase a laptop with a Windows operating system.

Internet Speed Requirements

For best performance for students learning remotely, an internet connection with a minimum of 40 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speed is recommended in order to effectively use video conferencing and remote lecture delivery software as well as, other online resources remotely. Due to the large area over which students may be dispersed, we are unable to recommend a specific provider, so you will need to inquire around your area to find one that best suits your needs.

Minimum Laptop Requirements

In order to access the internet and virtually-delivered software and courseware, student laptops should include the following at a minimum. By meeting the following specifications, students will be equipped to access software and courseware on their laptop through the internet:

  • Intel i5 8th Gen Processor or equivalent
  • 16 GB of RAM (with a minimum of 8 GB)
  • 100 GB HDD or more
  • HD Graphics
  • Webcam with a microphone
  • Wireless 802.11n/ac 5ghz capable
  • Windows Operating System (Windows 11)


To ensure students are getting the most our of their classroom experience, some software will be required.

Lambton College has made this software easily accessible online. Students can leverage our Microsoft Office 365 software packages and services. In addition, much of the software you require for your courses will be available on demand for use on any device - on or off campus.