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Early Childhood Studies

Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Studies
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

Location pin

One Location

Located in Toronto

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, 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.

First-year Courses

  • Children & Play
  • Early & Middle Childhood
  • 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 overview 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 2022

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 2022

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 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 have postsecondary education and 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.

If you enter the Early Childhood Studies full-time program as a General Transfer Applicant, it is important to know that you cannot transfer into the part-time online program at a later date as you will not have the placement and courses required for admission to the program.

Experiential Learning

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Year 1
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Year 2
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Year 3
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Year 4

Complete more than 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/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
  • 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.

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
  • Resource Consultant
  • Autism Therapist (IBI/ABA)
  • Early Learning & Care
  • 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.

Keanna G

Keanna G.
Graduated 2018
Registered Early Childhood Educator
Master of Science in Child Life & Pediatric Psychosocial Care

“My placement gave me a path to success. I made connections with professionals, which helped when applying to my highly competitive graduate program. I developed a stronger resume due to my experiences in a variety of settings and acquired unique skills necessary for my success within my grad program."

More about Keanna
Aren S

Aren S.
Graduated 2018
Currently working part-time as the Early
Childhood Studies Program & Events Coordinator (at time of profile)
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."

More about Aren


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 at Ronald McDonald House, and participated in awareness campaigns for initiatives such as World Down Syndrome Day.

ECS card making

Support professional 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

A future in law

After graduation, take advantage of our partnerships to study law in England. Earn a senior status law degree (LLB) with The City Law School, City, University of London in just two years, or a Master of Law (LLM) through distance learning with the University of London in one to five years (full- or part-time). 

  • 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.

Image of London

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 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 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
  • 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 study "eco-psychology"—exploring attitudes, perceptions and behaviour of people toward the environment
  • Understanding freedom of speech through examples set in the Netherlands and Denmark
  • 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. 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.