Early Childhood Education and Care

Make a difference one child at a time

With VIU education in the rapidly growing field of early childhood education and care, your skills will be in high demand.

Whether you want to study in Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley, the qathet Region or somewhere else in BC, we have an ECEC program for you. We offer In-person and online options, and a part-time program, Learning in Community, that allows you to work while you learn.

Infant Toddler and Special Needs Educator Online Courses

If you have an Early Childhood Education and Care certificate, you can take Infant Toddler and Special needs courses online. After you complete seven courses, you can apply for Infant Toddler Educator and Special Needs Educator certificates from the Early Childhood Education Registry.

Learn about the ITSN Educator online courses
Callout Box Photo - Yvonne Salsman-01

Yvonne Salsman

"When I think of the ECEC program at VIU, the two words that come to my mind are ‘connection’ and ‘community’. You walk in on your first day and meet a group of strangers, but by the end of the first semester these people have become your closest friends. Your cohort is a lifeline, as you navigate the ups and downs of the semesters. You go through everything together, and it creates a bond that you might not have expected to form. The professors are the next layer in this community. Each one is knowledgeable in their own way, bringing years of experience to the classroom. On top of all this knowledge is the deep sense of caring. They want to make sure you are thriving, not just surviving as you prepare to enter the field. Last, but not least, are your practicums. Each placement expands your connections in the field. You start to form your own pedagogy and teaching philosophies. They sometimes even lead to your first job as an early childhood educator. In addition to all that, is the ECE Education Support Fund. These quarterly bursaries are distributed by ECEBC and reimburse students with up to $500 a course. By the end of your two year program, I promise you will leave VIU with so much more than just a diploma."

  • Early Child Education and Care Diploma Program

Questions about ECEC programs?

Program Mission Statement

The ECEC program at VIU offers meaningful, contextualized, and interwoven theory courses and extensive practica experiences to support students' emerging knowledge and professional practice as they work with young children, families, and community partners in ways that are grounded in the principles of the BC Early Learning Framework, Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, the ECEBC Code of Ethics, BC Child Care Sector Occupational Competencies, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action, Child Care Licensing Regulation and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In doing so, we are committed to creating healthy, sustainable, democratic and socially just communities.

Why Early Childhood Education?

The Early Childhood Education and Care program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to work with young children and their families in licensed child care settings. You progress through an interrelated series of courses and practicum placements to integrate theoretical learning, awareness of self in relationships, and practical experience in becoming a professional Early Childhood Educator. This program may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.

Other VIU ECEC initiatives