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Early Childhood Studies

*Information for prospective students. For current student info click here. for more information


Honours Bachelor of Applied Science
Diploma in Early Childhood Education

Why study ECS at UofGH?

Hat and diploma

Degree + Diploma

Transfer Credit for Previous Postsecondary Education


Focused Program


Close-Knit Community


Industry Connections

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One Location

Located in Toronto

Live & Study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Study In + Explore Toronto

Toronto is a dynamic place to live and learn. The Greater Toronto Area is home to approximately 6.8 million people, one-sixth of Canada’s population; nearly half of that population is made up of residents from around the world.

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3 million people live in the City of Toronto

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Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world

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More than 140 languages & dialects are spoken in Toronto

Attending university in Canada’s cultural, economic and business centre will play an essential role in your program opportunities.

Our campus is serviced by four transit systems that link you to urban and rural destinations.

Explore Toronto and get to know its 140 neighbourhoods! Visit local tourist attractions including the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Kensington Market, Scotiabank Arena, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Zoo, St. Lawrence Market, Distillery District and Niagara Falls (two hours away).

Where else can you experience festivals celebrating food, music and people from other countries within a few city blocks? Your choices for recreation off campus are unlimited with large- and small-scale facilities and venues for sports, music, theatre and art.

Focused Academic Program

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.

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.

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

In your third and fourth years, you learn how to develop curriculum in educational and therapeutic settings. The curriculum includes children with special needs, infant and children's mental health, therapeutic play 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-awareness, find your own voice and develop a comprehensive set of abilities to deal with diverse circumstances in an empathetic manner.

First-year Courses

  • 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

Note: First-year courses and the Early Childhood Studies program plan may be subject to change.

Transfer Pathways

If you have any postsecondary education and you wish to apply to the University of Guelph-Humber, then you are a Transfer Applicant.

College Block Credit Transfer Pathway

We offer full-time and part-time programs for applicants eligible for our College Block Credit Transfer Pathway.

Full-time study on campus:

  • Attend classes on campus in Toronto
  • Complete your degree in two years!
  • Start fall 2021

Part-time study fully online:

  • Flexibility of online study anywhere with an internet connection
  • All courses are online
  • Complete your degree in two and a half years
  • Start fall 2021

Our college block credit transfer pathways allow you to move seamlessly with your college diploma into our honours degree program(s). If you have completed an Early Childhood Education diploma from a recognized Ontario college, with a minimum cumulative average of 75%, you are eligible for block transfer credits.

  • You will receive 10.0 credits for a two-year diploma
  • Because your diploma meets our placement requirements, no placements are required as part of your degree coursework

If you have have proof of equivalency from the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario, please contact Admission Services for admission advising. Applicants with an ECE diploma from outside Ontario can check for diploma equivalency approved by the College of Early Childhood Educators on their website.

General Transfer Applicants

If you are not eligible as a College Block Credit Transfer applicant, you are considered a General Transfer Applicant.

Coming from a diploma program
If you have completed coursework or a diploma from a college diploma program, you must have a minimum cumulative average of 75% to be considered for admission.

Coming from a degree program
If you have completed a degree or degree-related coursework from a recognized college or university program, you must have a minimum cumulative average of 70% to be considered for admission.

Experiential Learning

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Year 4

Complete 800 hours of workplace experience.

  • Year 1, Winter: Job shadowing will help introduce you to early learning and care settings.
  • Year 2, Winter: Experience an early learning and care setting.
  • Year 3, Fall: Participate in a placement related to inclusion and special needs.
  • Year 3, Winter: Gain knowledge in community-based organizations.
  • Year 4, Fall and 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.

Past practicum placements include:

  • Children’s mental health centres
  • Community-based/advocacy organizations
  • EarlyON centres
  • Hospital child life units
  • Inclusive learning 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.

If you are a College Block Credit Transfer student, you receive credit for your placement taken as part of your ECE diploma; therefore, you will not complete placement at UofGH.”

Program Overview

Based on the program option you are interested in, review the current program overview (below) to see the courses that make up the program. Course scheduling is subject to change.

Sample Careers + Further Education

  • Registered Early Childhood Educator
  • Play Therapist
  • Early Interventionist
  • Speech & Language Pathologist
  • Resource Consultant
  • Early Learning & Care Supervisor/Director/Owner
  • Intensive Behaviour 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.

Aren S

Aren S.
Early Childhood Studies alumna, graduated 2018
Currently working part-time as the Early Childhood Studies
Program and Events Coordinator
Pursuing a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies

“My favourite part about the program is the close-knit community and personalized support. You are not a number here at Guelph-Humber and I can't express how much that changes your experience."



Community outreach and leadership

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

ECS card making

Support Excellence 

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

Bloom Gala

The City Law School (LLB)

The University of Guelph-Humber and The City Law School, City, University of London have partnered to offer you a prime law school opportunity. Earn a senior status law degree in only two years following completion of your honours degree.

  • Eligible for admission with a competitive average
  • No LSAT
  • Reduced tuition

Study in London, England, where the largest law firms in the world are located. 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.

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Research as an undergraduate

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

  • Apply classroom knowledge
  • Develop skills in conducting experiments, research and data collection
  • Contribute to research publications
Photo with Adam and assistants doing facial research

Study Abroad

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

Past highlights include:

  • Going to nature and farm schools in Odense where children learn through nature: an example of Denmark’s unique contribution to child development
  • Learning about a philosophy of well-being and global citizenship in Japan
  • Exploring the interplay between sport, health and culture in New Zealand’s Australasian society
  • 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 learn about human responses to the climate crisis—exploring environmental solutions led by scientists and local communities
  • Visiting areas of historical/cultural significance in Ireland to interact with academics, community groups, and agencies involved in governance, democracy and human rights

Get Involved!


Societies are related to our seven academic programs and offer a realm of activities outside of class with a focus on your field of interest. They can help you develop leadership skills, gain professional experience and network. Look into the ECS Society’s many volunteer activities!

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