Early Childhood Education (ECE) – Intensive [Fast Track]

  • Program Information
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Courses
  • Career Opportunities
  • Admission Requirements

Make a difference – help young children reach their potential

Sheridan’s Early Childhood Education (ECE Diploma) program prepares you to become a highly skilled professional dedicated to providing young children with the best possible education and care. The ECE program focuses on applying research-based theory to practical experiences that encourages young children’s optimal development and growth.

The ECE college diploma program was created specifically for students who have already completed university or college programs in a related field and want to fast-track their early childhood education career. The ECE-Intensive Program is of particular interest to those returning to a second career educating children or for those who have international credentials not currently recognized as equivalent to ECE. When you graduate from this two-semester college program, you'll be eligible to become a registered member of the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE), a requirement for practice in the province of Ontario. Through the Early Childhood Education (ECE)–Intensive program you'll learn about:

  • Best practices for working with children in early childhood.
  • Roles and responsibilities of the early childhood educator.
  • The importance of play in a child’s development and learning.
  • Curriculum design and implementation.
  • Program models in early childhood.
  • Promotion of pro-social behaviour.
  • Child development from pre-birth to school-age.

Sheridan has a formalized partnership with the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, which allows you to study this renowned, research-based developmentally appropriate curriculum. This opportunity is unique in the Ontario college system. Graduates may continue their studies in the High/Scope approach and receive additional accredited High/Scope credentials.

Your accomplished professors are highly qualified with both strong academic backgrounds and extensive multi-disciplinary experience in working with young children. In addition, your professors are active participants serving within a variety of provincial and local child education initiatives.

You'll learn in state-of-the-art facilities utilizing technology and hands-on application in a curriculum room that emphasizes, encourages and fosters best practices in early learning based on current theoretical research. The use of laptop computers in the classroom enriches the learning opportunity as you access the latest research and educational trends through Internet exploration. The use of laptop computers encourages collaborative, team-based learning within the classroom while offering you the chance to develop technical skills needed for the competitive and increasingly technology-driven world. This feature also gives you a 24/7 connection to learning materials.

Field Placement

You'll have the opportunity to transfer theoretical knowledge to applied practice in two ECE field placement experiences, each exposing you to a different venue of early childhood education. There is opportunity for atypical placement experiences including an international placement in Hong Kong and elsewhere.

Postsecondary Fast Track

 Sheridan Early Childhood Education, Intensive one-year diploma program is for students who have completed a related postsecondary program and want to fast-track their career.

The Sheridan Early Childhood Education (ECE) Intensive program is located at the Davis Campus in Brampton, Ontario and the Trafalgar Road Campus in Oakville, Ontario.

By the end of the program, graduates will have demonstrated the ability to plan and implement play-based, child and family centred learning that honours the uniqueness of each child and applies fundamental and current principles of child development in recognition of the significance of the early years.

Program Outcomes:

  • Design, implement and evaluate inclusive and play-based early learning curriculum and programs that support children’s holistic development and are responsive to individual children’s and groups of children’s observed abilities, interests and ideas.
  • Establish and maintain inclusive early learning environments that support diverse, equitable and accessible developmental and learning opportunities for all children and their families.
  • Select and use a variety of screening tools, observation and documentation strategies to review, support and promote children’s learning across the continuum of early childhood development.
  • Establish and maintain responsive relationships with individual children, groups of children and families.
  • Assess, develop and maintain safe, healthy and quality early learning environments which meet the requirements of current legislation, agency policies and evidence-based practices in early learning.
  • Prepare and use professional written, verbal, nonverbal and electronic communications when working with children, families, colleagues, employers, and community partners.
  • Identify, select and apply relevant legislation, regulations, College of Early Childhood Educators Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, policies and evidence-based practice guidelines, and interpret their impact on a variety of early learning environments.
  • Apply a developing personal philosophy of early learning in accordance with ethical and professional standards of early childhood education practice.
  • Advocate for quality early learning environments and collaborate with members of the early learning team, families and community partners to establish and promote such settings.
  • Engage in reflective practice, develop learning goals and maintain an ongoing professional development plan in accordance with evidence-based practices in early learning and related fields.

View Ontario ECE program standards.

Code Title Credits


EDUC 18452 The Early Childhood Environment 3
EDUC 14178 Introduction to Educational Strategies for Children 3
EDUC 18263 The Developing Child 3
EDUC 13672 Orientation to Early Childhood Education 2
EDUC 16048 Nutrition, Health and Safety for Young Children 3
FLPL 20036 Field Placement/Seminar 2 10



EDUC 25288 Promoting Prosocial Behaviour in Young Children 3
EDUC 28448 Developmentally Appropriate Planning Strategies 3
EDUC 27701 Programming for Individualized Needs 3
EDUC 25436 High/Scope and Other Curriculum Models in Early Learning 3
EDUC 22629 Professional Practices - ECE 3
FLPL 25586 Field Placement/Seminar 3 7


Note: Courses subject to change.

Course Details: Search the Sheridan Course Outline Database

Sheridan trains students for rewarding careers . When you complete your one-year Early Childhood Education diploma program, you will be ready to take a position in these and other locations:

  • centre-based child care programs
  • full-day kindergarten programs
  • Ontario Early Years Centres
  • nursery schools
  • family resource programs
  • literacy and parenting programs
  • recreation programs
  • before-  and after-school programs
  • regulated home child care agencies
  • ESL/LINC child minding programs

Program Eligibility

  • Postsecondary diploma and/or degree with related courses.


  • Demonstrated competence through related work and/or educational experience.

Applicant Selection

Eligible applicants will be selected on the basis of previous academic achievement and related courses, and/or demonstrated experience.

In some cases, applicants may be required to submit confirmation and verification of volunteer/paid hours working in early learning, validated by a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE).

Applicants may be required to complete English testing to demonstrate proficiency.

Postsecondary transcripts, indicating courses completed to date, must be submitted to ontariocolleges.ca at the time of application.

Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements for this program will be assessed and advised individually and may be considered for other, related programs.

Criminal Record Check and Immunization Requirements

Completion of field practicum is a mandatory program requirement.  Progression and graduation are not possible without completion of a field practicum.  Many field practicums require a Vulnerable Sectors Check (VSC), Criminal Reference Check (CRC), and current health requirements check.  In the event that you have any of these check resulting in a "possible match" or "police contact" record(s), the decision about whether you are accepted for field practicum falls to the field placement agency.  (The agency may require you to disclose the particulars of your record; you have the right to not make this disclosure.  If the agency denies you the field practicum based on a "possible match" or "police contact" record(s) or a lack of disclosure, you will not be able to complete your field practicum at that agency and, therefore, may be unable to complete your credential).  Please be advised that such records may constrain opportunities in various sectors of the profession.

Please refer to Sheridan's health services for complete immunization information, or come in to one of the campus health centres.

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