Thursday, April 12, 2012

Train as an Assistant and Go onto Take Early Childhood Education

Do you have learning disabilities, possess a workplace destination level high-school diploma, are a mature student (over the age of 19), and/ or have a first language other than English? Do you have an interest in working in early childhood education? In addition do you possess an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or are 19 years of age or older; and the compulsory English 12 credit or skills assessment or equivalent? If so, you may be eligible to apply for the early childhood program at Centennial College known as Early Childhood Assistant. In addition to these academic requirements, applicants may also be required to complete a questionnaire, provide references and attend a program admission session as part of the admissions process.

The reason this early childhood education offering is so ideal for those with learning disabilities, mature students and ESL students is that it was specifically designed to support the needs of such students through small classes, a hands-on approach to learning and encouragement from professional faculty members who have been in the industry for years.

Once accepted, students will discover a few distinct benefits. First, most early childhood education courses include one or two major assignments, a mid-term and a final test. Secondly, assignments include presentations, small group assignments and in-class workshop participation. Thirdly, both semesters contain field placement experiences.  Specific early childhood education courses include: Communicating with Families, Preschool and School-Age learning, Guiding Children’s Behaviour, Health and Wellbeing, Infant and Toddler Development and more. To supplement in-class training, students of the early childhood program, partake in two practicum experiences. This hands-on practice allows students to apply what they have already learned and gain new insight. Some field placement agencies require a criminal reference check prior to student placement. Certain criminal convictions may disallow placement in these agencies and program completion may not be possible. Students must also have a clear medial report to participate.

By the end of the program students are able to: plan and implement individual programs and curriculum to meet the developmental needs of children; utilize a variety of observation techniques to enhance work with children, families and co-workers; maintain responsive relationships with individual children and groups of children; establish and maintain safe and healthy environments that best meet the requirements of current legislation, regulatory bodies and program policies; develop and maintain effective written, oral, non-verbal and electronic communications with children, families, co-workers, employers and individuals/ agencies; apply relevant legislation, policies, procedures and regulations to early childhood education programs and settings in a changing social context; and more.

Each year, between 10 and 33 per cent of graduates from this early childhood program go on to study in Centennial’s two-year Early Childhood Education (ECE) program. Many of these students are exempt from some ECE courses as a result of attaining a high level of success in the ECA program. ECA graduates who have successfully completed the ECE program have also been accepted into Ryerson University or York University.

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