4 Semesters (2 Years)
Credential Awarded
Ontario College Diploma

About the Program

In this four-semester diploma program, you will learn about the physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs of children. You will understand how to develop and implement inclusive programming in order to support the healthy development of children ranging in age from infancy to school-age.

Your studies will include courses in child development, curriculum. philosophy of education, communication, working with families and administration.

Each week you will spend three days in class and two days practicing your skills in field placement. If you choose to study in the summer, you will have the option to earn your Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma in 16 months.

Seneca offers two lab schools, which are model child care centres that provide you with opportunities for observation and programming.

To practice in Ontario as a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) graduates must apply for registration with the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE). Graduates of this program will meet the educational requirement for membership.

Note: If you are currently working in child care and would like to work towards your Certificate of Apprenticeship and ECE diploma at Seneca, please contact your local Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Apprenticeship Office:

  • Toronto 416.326.5800
  • Peel 1-800-736-5520
  • Markham 905-513-2695


Throughout this program you will develop the following skills:

  • Design healthy, safe, inclusive and engaging environments for children from infancy to school age. 
  • Plan and implement inclusive programming to support children’s development using current theories.
  • Build positive relationships with children, families, colleagues and other professionals


Work Experience

Field Placement

Field placement is central to the learning experience, so you will be placed in the field for two days each week during each semester. Field placement provides the opportunity to integrate classroom learning into practice with groups of children in the community.


Your Career

When you graduate from this program, these are the types of employers waiting for you:

  • Child care centres

  • Family resource programs

  • Settlement centres 

  • EarlyON centres

  • After-school programs

  • Nursery schools

  • Parent co-operative centres 

  • Private home child care

  • Centres for children with special needs

  • Kindergarten in the elementary school system


Upon graduation you will qualify to join the following affiliations and associations:

  • Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO)

  • The Canadian Association for Young Children (CAYC)

  • Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) 

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Gabriele Brum

Gabriele Brum graduated from the ECE diploma program in 2017.  She works as an RECE in the Newnham ECE Lab School.    

"I had heard that Seneca's ECE program had a great reputation but I didn't really know what to expect when I made the decision from Brazil.  I could not have made a better choice!  Throughout the program, I felt supported by both those in the ECE program and by Seneca as a whole.  I did a 3rd semester placement at Newnham's Lab School and they hired me as an assistant during my final semester.  Now I work there as an RECE.  I love being able to contribute to the Seneca community and to help guide new students that come to our Centre!"

Fumiko Fujikawa

Upon completion of Seneca’s ECE diploma program, Fumiko Fujikawa returned to Japan in 2007 and began working for an international kindergarten. She then became an English teacher and implemented her newly found ECE techniques in her classes, which became a great success among students and their parents. By 2011, Fumiko opened her own school in Japan, fulfilling a long time dream.

Fumiko's school, FLAT English School, teaches the English language to children and adults. The school has also created space for Seneca ECE and BCD (Bachelor of Child Development) students to work there in field placements which happens virtually each semester.

 “I'm extremely proud of what I’ve learned through Seneca and am trying to prove that the philosophy and theory of ECE, ‘Learning Through Play’ is the best way for children to learn English,” says Fumiko, who also conducts workshops for educators and parents, promoting ECE and play-based learning. She inspires and influences others with her methods and is the organizer, translator and driver of these workshops and lectures.

Fumiko’s goal is to change English education in Japan.

“I love Seneca and that’s why I keep going back every year,” says Fumiko. “My whole ECE experience made me realize that I was born to be a teacher.”

Penny Siskopoulos

 “If it weren't for the ECE program at Seneca and the incredibly passionate professors, I would not understand how crucial the early years in a child’s life are. ECE helped set a solid foundation for always making sure I create a positive, motivating, safe and stimulating environment for every child I work with. So much so, that it drove me to want to work one-on-one with children with special needs - helping them improve their learning, communication and social skills. I can confidently say that I cannot picture myself doing anything other than working with young children and helping them flourish in their early years.”

Penny currently works at the Geneva Centre for Autism as an Instructor Therapist. As an Instructor therapist, she observes behaviour and provides intensive behavioural intervention in a one-on-one setting. She is responsible for preparing, delivering and presenting teaching materials for individualized programs for children with Autism; as well as monitoring the progress and effectiveness of the individual programs.

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