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Early Childhood Studies

Early Childhood Studies

“UofGH has truly prepared me with all the necessary skills to become the best teacher I can be. I have gained so much knowledge about working in the field from my 800 hours of workplace experience. I have never been more excited and prepared for my future!”

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Cooper R.

Why study ECS at UofGH?

Find out why students just like you chose the University of Guelph-Humber.

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Earn 2 Credentials
from the University of Guelph
from Humber

Focused Academic Program

Learn how to support children individually, as well as work with their families, schools and the community. Our program focuses on the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children and their interaction with the world around them.

You will learn to assess children’s learning; support and educate children in a meaningful way; understand how to create interventions; and know how to work with children in a variety of settings. 

See first-hand how learning environments can support diversity and inclusion for children with a range of abilities when you use our interactive classroom full of Smart Boards, whiteboard walls, specialized seating (pods) and desks, wiggle chairs and integrated technology.

Years 1 & 2
Your first year introduces you to the domains of child development and theories and foundations of early childhood. In your second year, you learn the basics of human anatomy and physiology; how to create curriculum; observation and research skills; dynamics of relationships; and how biases impact our interactions with children and families.

Years 3 & 4
In your third and fourth years, you learn how to develop curriculum in educational and therapeutic settings. The curriculum includes children with exceptionality, infant and children's mental health, therapeutic play, leadership and interprofessional collaboration. Communication with children and families is a focus for your third year. And your fourth year emphasizes professional skills such as leadership and working collaboratively. 

You will take a journey of self-discovery, find your own voice and develop a comprehensive set of abilities to deal with diverse circumstances in an empathetic manner.

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Admission Info

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First-year Courses

Child drawing with a marker
  • Children & Play
  • Early & Middle Childhood Development
  • Field Practicum 1
  • Foundations of Early Childhood
  • Health & Safety in Early Childhood Settings
  • Infant & Toddler Development
  • Introductory Psychology: Dynamics
  • Introductory Psychology: Principles
  • Principles of Sociology
  • University Writing Skills for Early Childhood Studies

800+ Hours of Experiential Learning

0 hrs Year 1

Winter:Job shadowing will help introduce you to early learning and care settings.

0 hrs Year 2

Winter:Experience an early learning and care setting.

0 hrs Year 3

Fall/Winter:Participate in a placement related to inclusion and special needs. Gain knowledge in community-based organizations.

0 hrs Year 4

Fall/Winter:Select a year-long setting tailored to your career aspirations and knowledge base.


Borrow from our extensive collection of educational and therapeutic materials and toys in the Early Childhood Studies Resource Room to enhance your placements. Examples include Paro the therapeutic seal pup (robot) and virtual reality headsets. Learn more about Paro!

Past practicum placements include:

  • Children’s mental health centres
  • Children's advocacy
  • Community-based family organizations
  • Early intervention and prevention programs
  • Hospital child life units
  • Inclusive early learning and care centres
  • Primary school classrooms
  • Therapeutic environments

Note: You will be required to complete a Vulnerable Sector Screening, documentation of immunization and a First Aid/CPR certificate prior to placement.

Sample Careers & Further Education

  • Registered Early Childhood Educator
  • Play Therapist
  • Early Interventionist
  • Speech & Language Pathologist
  • Resource Consultant
  • Autism Therapist (IBI/ABA)
  • Early Learning & Care Supervisor/Director/Owner
  • Child & Family Therapist
  • Children’s Rights Advocate
  • Family Support Supervisor
  • Certified Teacher
  • Research & Policy Analyst
  • Master of Education
  • Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Master of Science in Child Life & Pediatric Psychosocial Care
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Arts in Child Study & Education
  • Bachelor of Nursing

Note: Some careers and entry into further education may require additional study.


Community outreach and leadership

Volunteer with your peers to support important social causes or community projects. Students have raised funds for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, served meals to families at Ronald McDonald House, and participated in campaigns for initiatives such as World Down Syndrome Day.

Tribute to youth lost at residential schools

Support professional excellence

Be part of the annual Becoming Leaders of Open Mentorship (BLOOM) Gala. Help recognize the impact and leadership of our students, instructors and community leaders for the difference they're making in the lives of children and families. Nominations are student driven.

Bloom Gala

Prepare for law school

Graduate ready for Canadian law school or take advantage of our partnerships in England. Earn a senior status law degree (LLB) with The City Law School  in just two years without an LSAT requirement or a Master of Laws (LLM) through distance learning with University of London  in one year (full-time) or up to five years (part-time). Both with reduced tuition.

The Graduate Entry LLB (Hons) program attracts students from all over the world—many from Canada. Follow in the footsteps of renowned alumni such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

London Bridge

Research as an undergraduate

If research interests you, get to know the many research opportunities inside and outside of class. Get paid and conduct research as a Research Assistant with instructors funded by the University’s Research Grant Fund.

  • Apply classroom knowledge
  • Develop skills in conducting research
  • Contribute to research publications
Professor and assistants doing facial research

“I made connections with professionals, developed a stronger resumé and acquired skills for my success.”

Learn About Keanna

Global Learning Opportunities

Through instructor-guided study tours, you experience concepts discussed in class. Because these courses are partially subsidized by the University, the opportunities are within reach. You may also be eligible for a travel grant, ranging from $1,500 to $2,500.

Past highlights include:

Visiting outdoor classrooms in Odense where children interact with nature: an example of Denmark’s unique contribution to child development

Learning about Soka education — a philosophy of well-being and global citizenship in Japan

New Zealand
Exploring the interplay between sport, health and culture in New Zealand


Immersing in the Italian food experience from production to consumption in Italy, including a visit to the world's first food theme park

Heading to the Galápagos Islands and inland Ecuador to study "eco-psychology" — the attitudes, perceptions and behaviour of people toward the environment

Study Abroad photo from Singapore by Dylan Cunanan

Get Involved


Societies are related to our seven academic programs and offer activities outside of class. They can help you develop leadership skills, gain professional experience and network. Look into the ECS Society’s   many volunteer activities and check out our Clubs and Societies page.

ECS card making