School of Community Services

Early Learning and Childcare - Certificate Program

Build the knowledge and develop the skills to shape the lives of children in your community. Earn your ECE II certification in less than 1 years.

Program Delivery


Program Overview

This certificate program is provincially approved and successful graduates will be able to apply for the Level 2 certification (ECE II) in Alberta.

Total Tuition: $7,899*

In 2020, just over 52% of Canadian households with children between 0 and 5 years of age used some form of early learning, amounting to just over 1.2 million children. It’s undeniable that early childhood educators are needed and highly valued in Canada.

We understand you’ll want to hit the ground running in your career as soon as possible, which is why our certificate program is only 8 months long. We offer a condensed learning format, giving you the relevant information you need, delivered efficiently so you’ll be work-ready, faster.

The Early Learning and Childcare certificate program is designed to give you the skills to help young children from all cultures and backgrounds grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Upon completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • Create safe, healthy, and inclusive learning environments
  • Facilitate sensory, intellectual, social, spiritual, and emotional development
  • Promote positive relationships and conflict resolution
  • Establish positive connections with children’s families and communities
  • Create equitable, culturally relevant teaching environments
  • Use effective program development and leadership skills to facilitate early childhood programming
  • Demonstrate professional behaviour and work effectively as a member of a team


Respectful and fair treatment of children, colleagues, and families is at the heart of good childhood education. As an educator in this field, you’ll work to eliminate unfair biases, stereotypes, and barriers so children from all backgrounds and cultures feel valued and included.

Part of the Early Learning and Childcare certificate program focuses on teaching you how to create equitable, culturally relevant learning environments that encourage meaningful conversation and play. You’ll learn how to address the needs of Indigenous children and families and incorporate cultural touchpoints into learning activities. Not only that, you’ll have the privilege of helping children foster caring relationships and healthy, inclusive social interactions.

Program Delivery

Hybrid Learning

  • A mix of online and on-campus learning.
  • Enjoy the flexibility of remote learning without sacrificing valuable in-person training under the guidance of your instructors.
  • You only come to the campus for scheduled in-person labs! The theory portion of the program is delivered online through Brightspace, our online learning platform.

Visit our Hybrid Learning to learn more about this delivery format.

Campus Locations

This program is offered at multiple Robertson College campus locations. Students will learn both online and on-campus, with campus classes happening during the evenings and on Saturdays. Select a campus below to view campus-specific schedule information and enrolment dates.

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Program Details

Quick Facts



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Admission Requirements

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Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Early Learning and Childcare Certificate program have the foundational knowledge and skills needed to qualify for positions as Early Childhood Educators in the early childhood sector. There are a variety of career opportunities available for graduates, including:

  • Child Care Professionals
  • Child and Youth Workers
  • Home Care Providers
  • Child Care Teachers
  • Preschool Teachers 
  • Nursery Workers
  • Daycare Workers
  • Child Development Assistants

Graduates can expect to find jobs in a variety of institutions, including:

  • Child Day Care Services
  • Individual and Family Services
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Child and Youth Services
  • Civic and Social Organizations

Lifetime Career Services

Even though you’ll leave Robertson once you graduate, we will support you throughout your career. Our team will help you with resume building, job hunting and interview preparation and will continue to guide you as you advance in your role.

Before you graduate, you’ll be paired with a career specialist in your field who will help you find a meaningful place to start your career. As a graduate, you’ll have lifelong access to student services that are committed to your success and helping you thrive.

Learn more about Lifetime Career Services.

Next Start Dates

To view enrolment dates for a specific location please select a Robertson College campus.

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Topics of Study

Child Development (140 Hours)

Child Development 1 (60 Hours)

This course introduces the principles, processes and theories of human development. Influences on prenatal development and the newborn’s capacities are explored. The physical, cognitive, language, emotional and social domains of development and milestones reached through infancy and toddlerhood are the focus of this course.

Child Development 2 (40 Hours)

This course focuses on the development of the preschool child. The physical, cognitive, language, emotional and social domains of development and milestones of children ages two to six will be explored through theory, research and observation.

Health and Well-being (40 Hours)

This course introduces students to the basic principles and practices of health promotion, nutrition, illness prevention and management, safety, and occupational health.

ELCC Programming (180 Hours)

Curriculum Approaches (60 Hours)

This course introduces students to the different approaches to early childhood education.  Students will be introduced to the history of early childhood education development in Canada and the factors that have influenced this.  Students will explore a variety of models and approaches to early childhood care.

Play-Based Learning (40 Hours)

This course introduces students to the value of play in children’s learning and development. The course examines how play changes as children reach each stage of development, the factors that influence play, and the early childhood educator’s role in supporting play.

Observation and Assessment (40 Hours)

This course focuses on observation and assessment.  Documentation techniques and formats will be taught in this course.  Students will practice these techniques by observing children and the environment in child care environment. 

Designing Learning Experiences (40 Hours)

This course focuses on designing effective learning experiences within the early childhood environment by developing the necessary background, tools, and strategies.  Students will explore the impact of the early childhood center’s philosophy, environment, materials, and resources on learning experiences.   

Relationships (80 Hours)

Introduction to Early Childhood Profession (40 Hours)

This course provides an overview of the field of early childhood education. Students will be introduced to the profession of early childhood education.  Early learning program components, career options and the role and qualities of an early childhood educator will be explored.

Guiding Children’s Behavior Part I (40 Hours)

This course introduces students to the basic concepts related to guiding children’s behaviors.  The course introduces strategies, processes, behaviors, and routines that support the development of a nurturing and respectful early childhood environment.  Students will explore their own values regarding children’s behavior, learn guidance techniques, and develop an understanding of the early childhood educator’s role in fostering healthy child behaviors.

ELCC Field Placement (400 Hours)

Field Placement 1 (100 Hours)

Field Placement 2 (100 Hours)

Field Placement 3 (100 Hours)

Field Placement 4 (100 Hours)

Related Courses (60 Hours)

The Indigenous Perspective, History and Culture (60 Hours)

This course introduces students to the principles of racism, inequity and exclusion as it pertains to Indigenous Peoples and will focus on building an awareness of Indigenous history and culture. ECE educators develop cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and cultural competence to best support Indigenous children and families.

Financial Assistance & Funding

$7,399 Tuition + $500 Application Fee* = $7,899

The amounts listed are in Canadian (CAD) currency. Application fee is included in the total tuition and do not need to be paid at the time of registration.

There are a variety of financial aid opportunities to ease students’ stress and allow them to focus on their studies. If you need extra support, we offer financial assistance and have flexible funding to accommodate all our students, no matter their financial situation. Our dedicated Financial Aid Officers will help you every step of the way.

Questions about tuition & financial assistance?

Contact Admissions

The Distinction Between ECE II And ECE III In Alberta

According to the Certification Guide For Early Childhood Educators, in Alberta, the Early Learning and Child Care Act requires people who work in licensed child care programs to have provincial certification. Certification is how the provincial government reviews the education and abilities of child care staff.

Level 2 Early Childhood Educator: to be certified you must have completed:

  • 1-year early learning and child care certificate program offered by an Alberta public college, or an approved educational equivalency


Level 3 Early Childhood Educator: to be certified you must have completed:

  • 2-year early learning and child care diploma program offered by an Alberta public college, or an approved educational equivalency


Graduates of Robertson’s ELCC Certificate and Diploma programs who apply for child care certification in Alberta will be eligible for certification as a Level 2 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Worker) or a Level 3 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Supervisor), respectively.

Who Should Enroll?

It takes a special type of person to work in the childhood education sector. This program would be a good fit for students who have these characteristics.

You enjoy working with children. This is a must in this career path. You should be enthusiastic and passionate about working with children and want to make a difference in their lives.

You’re a patient person. Patience is key when working with youngsters. They have short attention spans and can be energetic for long periods of time, so it’s important to exercise patience and take every day in stride.

You’re ready to be active. Early childhood education is a physically-demanding career. You must be able to lift children and learning materials as well as move quickly to keep them safe.

You’re creative. The more creative you are, the easier a time you’ll have at crafting learning activities that interest children and keep their attention. It’s important to be a good observer and an analytical thinker.

You have strong interpersonal skills. All children are different and you may work with some that are more difficult than others. Showing compassion and empathy will help you work with those children and support them when they’re struggling.

You have strong communication skills. You must be able to communicate with children and their families, as well as actively listen.

You enjoy challenges. Every day will be different and not every day will be easy. You must be able to adapt and think quickly to resolve any issues as they come up.

Let's Get Started

Simply fill out the form below and one of our Student Advisors will provide any extra information you need and get your account activated as early as today.

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1 (855) 333-9319
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Program Availability

This program is offered at multiple Robertson College campus locations. Select a campus below to view campus specific information, like schedule information and enrolment dates.

Select A Campus