This fully online graduate certificate program has been recently redesigned to meet the needs of individuals who have already received their Early Childhood Education Diploma and who wish to pursue professional specialization in resource consulting. It continues to provide early childhood educators with the knowledge and techniques needed to promote the inclusion of children with exceptionalities. Students learn to work as part of a transdisciplinary care team.

The online delivery is a series of asynchronous, self-directed courses. There are course assignment deadlines that must be met, but the time spent online is scheduled by the student. Collaboration and sharing in the virtual classroom is encouraged through online discussion forums. Expert instructors facilitate and assess the student's progress through the program.

In addition to five (5) theory-driven courses there are two (2) field placements.. Fieldwork experiences take place in integrated settings, with families and community agencies and are a required component of the certificate program.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are employed in integrated and community based programs, consultative services and specialized settings serving children with special needs. Models of service delivery and roles of resource teachers vary.

Entry Requirements

  1. Your Early Childhood Education diploma OR your College of ECE registration card.
  2. An up-to-date resume that includes details about your work experience as an ECE.
  3. A letter of reference from a supervisor or client who can attest to your experience working with children with special needs. The letter should state how many hours/days/months of experience with children with special needs you have. This experience can have occurred during a field placement, volunteer work or paid employment.
  4. A completed Freedom of Information waiver.

New students may begin the program in any of the three terms of study (Fall, Winter, Spring/Summer).

Deadlines to apply are:

  • For Winter entry: December 1st
  • For Spring/Summer entry: April 1st
  • For Fall entry: August 1st

Applications will be reviewed within 4 weeks and acceptance letters will be emailed to the email address provided by the student.


It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Knowledge of the prerequisite material is assumed by your instructor and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or Transfer Credit for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.


  1. Students are responsible to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites are met.
  2. Students who lacks appropriate prerequisites will be asked to withdraw or transfer to an appropriate course with potential risk of financial and academic penalty.
  3. Please check course prerequisites and corequisites before registering. Both fieldwork courses have a co-requisite. Students must register for both academic fieldwork co-requisite courses.

Application Form

To apply, please fill in the form below and add the following documents:

  1. ECE Diploma
  2. Resume
  3. Reference Letter
  4. Freedom of information waiver

For details, please see Entry Requirements.

Prospective students must be approved before registering in this program.



Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   

Due to COVID-19, all Part-time Studies courses are being offered online until further notice, in one of the following two formats: online virtual classroom and online self-directed. Click Availability below to see current offerings.


Supporting Atypical Development

This course introduces students to early learning pedagogy and play-based strategies as the cornerstones of supporting children with special needs. Through a lens of curriculum principles that guide inclusive early learning programs, students will examine and analyze developmental characteristics of children in order to recommend program adaptations and modifications that build on childrens' strengths. In addition, students will utilize observation skills and screening tools in order to recommend centre policies and practices that promote meaningful and maximum early learning program participation.

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Adapting Curriculum Practices

Students are introduced to Family Service Plans as the consultation platform that integrates perspectives from families, early learning educators, health professionals and community service providers in order to adapt and modify curriculum practices. They examine early learning environments and create a plan that recommends strategies, adaptations and modifications that promote the benefits of inclusive learning for children with special needs. In addition, students develop a proposal of how they plan to communicate this information to the full Family Services team. This course highlights the importance of working in consultation with the whole team in order to support children.

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Evidence Informed Decision Making


ERS101 & ERS102

This course examines how research, current legislation, regulations and ethical and professional standards impact evidence informed practices of resource consultants. Students assess a variety of observation and screening tool, family engagement models and learning strategies in order to understand child development and advise families and early learning educators. They utilize and reflect on professional knowledge and plan further learning related to teaching and inclusive practices.

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Working With Others Through Professional Engagement


ERS101 & ERS102

Through a range of interactive, community-based learning opportunities, this course will examine methodologies and strategies to engage others in the consultation process to support families, early learning educators, and other community professionals. Students will apply adult learning principles to plan, deliver and evaluate educational opportunities for families, early learning educators and community professionals in supporting the healthy development of children living with diverse abilities. In addition, students will identify and critique organizational practices and create a consultation plan to engage stakeholders in the development of a shared philosophy of inclusion.

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Introduction to Resource Consulting Field Placement I


ERS101 & ERS102

This field placement experience introduces students to the work of ECE resource consulting. Building on prior skills and knowledge students examine current legislation, policies and evidence informed practices to reflect on how the roles of the RECE and ECE resource consultant complement each other to support children living with special needs. Students demonstrate collaborative professional practices as they promote and advocate inclusive policies and environments. In consultation with the service team, students select, administer and interpret observation techniques and screening tools in order to contribute to the Family Service Plan. In addition, they recommend program adaptations and modifications that demonstrate the principles of early learning pedagogy and inclusive play-based early learning practices, empower parents as decision-makers. Students reflect on the effectiveness of those strategies as well as on their own personal development as early childhood interventionists.

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Empowering Families Through Strength Based Approaches


ERS101, ERS102, ERS201, ERS202, ERS203

This course focuses on the reciprocal partnership between the families of children living with special needs and the service team. The learning concerns diverse family systems and the impact that a child with special needs has on family dynamics. Students examine the structural, cultural, and developmental diversities of families in order to validate them as the primary support for children in their learning and development. Working in collaboration with the family and the service team, students demonstrate strategies that engage families in strength based decision-making regarding the learning and development of their child. In addition, students research community resources and recommend referral services.

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Collaborative Resource Consulting Field Placement II


ERS101, ERS102, ERS201, ERS202, ERS203

This final field placement extends the student's understanding of the role of the ECE resource consultant. Working as a member of the service team, students act in accordance with legislative regulations, agency policies and professional standards. They demonstrate family-centred strategies as they guide families to navigate potential supports and services and make recommendations that support the healthy development of children living with special needs. Through the use of reciprocal communication and evidence informed practices, they apply principles of adult learning in order to co-ordinate and facilitate case management meetings, educational opportunities and referral discussions. They reflect upon their consultation practices and create a plan for further professional development

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Program Outcomes

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Build and maintain responsive relationships and partnerships with children with special needs and families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds including Indigenous peoples' worldviews and Francophone identity, to provide culturally relevant early learning opportunities, programs and services.
  2. Recommend, discuss and plan, in partnership with families and early childhood educators, inquiry and play-based early learning program adaptations to accommodate and support learning, holistic development and well-being in children with special needs.
  3. Advise and lead early childhood educators and children's service partners in the development of a philosophy of inclusion and policies and practices that support diverse, equitable and accessible learning opportunities for children with special needs and their families.
  4. Administer observation strategies and screening tools to interpret and document children's learning and to identify children with challenges and facilitate families' referrals to resources for further assessment and intervention as necessary.
  5. Collaborate with children, families, early learning educators, health professionals and children's service partners to facilitate the planning, co-ordination and evaluation of individualized support plans for children with special needs.
  6. Plan, deliver and evaluate strength-based training to children, families, early childhood educators and children's service partners to support quality, inclusive early years and child care programs and services for children with special needs and families.
  7. Provide consultation, service coordination and referral support to families, early childhood educators and children's service partners to support communication, collaboration and continuity of services for children with special needs and families.
  8. Comply with current legislation, regulations, policies and evidence-informed practices in early years and child care settings to provide quality early learning programs and services for children with special needs and their families.
  9. Advocate for inclusive, meaningful and purposeful early learning opportunities and services for children with special needs, their families and communities.
  10. Engage in reflective practice and keep current in emerging research within the early year's sector to lead initiatives related to inclusive practice and improving early learning opportunities, programs and services for all children and especially those living with special needs and their families.

Fieldwork Placement

The ECE Resource Consulting program has two field placement opportunities: ERS203 Introduction to Resource Consulting and ERS302 Collaborative Resource Consulting. Each placement is 105 hours supervised by a qualified Resource Consultant.

How Do the Placements Work?

Placement hours are accomplished within appropriate host agencies (such as schools, childcare centres, rehabilitation centres, early intervention services teams) with host supervisors who are qualified Resource Teachers/Consultants. The time spent in placement is an opportunity for hands-on learning and to incorporate and reflect upon what students are learning online.

Placement hours are part of each fieldwork course, which will also include online readings and assignments. Your fieldwork instructor will liaise with your host supervisor in order to support and evaluate your progress in placement.

Where Will I Do My Placement?

That's up to you. Students are encouraged to research and find placement opportunities that are local to them. It is advisable to search for placements and arrange for a placement opportunity several months in advance of registration in a fieldwork course.

The field placement coordinator or program manager may be able to assist by providing suggestions per locality, however students are expected to make placement arrangements themselves with potential host supervisors.

Your ERS203 placement opportunity must be approved before registering for the placement course by emailing the following information to: stephanie.gallant@senecacollege.ca.

  1. Full name, address, phone number of the placement agency
  2. Full name and contact details of the Resource Consultant who will be supervising your placement
  3. Proposed schedule of placement hours eg. 1 day per week for 11 weeks etc.


Field Placement Documentation

Please ensure that the following documents are current before embarking on placement hours. You will need to have these documents reviewed by the field placement coordinator and/or fieldwork course instructor at the start of term. Your host agency may also require you to submit them for review.

  • CPR Level C
  • Medical Vaccination Records (including 1-Step TB Test) as reviewed by a physician. Form found here.
  • Vulnerable Sector Check (Police Check). Students in the City of Toronto may use the pre-authorized form found here. Others should inquire at their local police office to pursue the Check.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Office of the Registrar.


This certificate program is only available in an "Online" format.

Please visit Online Studies for complete information, including hardware/software requirements as well as course descriptions.


When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Minimum Performance for Graduation

A student will be eligible to graduate from a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or graduate certificate program if they have achieved a minimum graduating GPA of 2.0.

A student will be eligible to graduate from a degree program if they have achieved a minimum graduating GPA of 2.5, which includes a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the courses in their main field of study and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in breadth courses.

City Wide Training

City Wide Training Early Childhood Professional, visit regularly for postings of professional development opportunities available across the city including Seneca College.


Program Contacts

Georgina Ioannou
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22946

Dedra Profitt
Academic Program Manager
416-491-5050 ext.22528

For more information about this program, fill out the following form.