Programs & Courses

Early Learning and Child Care


About the Program

One of the greatest rewards of working with children is learning how to see the world through their eyes. If you love caring for young children and working with families, our Early Learning and Child Care program will help prepare you for a fulfilling and playful career in this field.

Throughout the program, you will learn the importance of play in the lives of children, and our classes give you lots of hands-on learning opportunities. We play with art materials, story props, and science and math materials to better understand how children learn and how we can help teach them.  

Our program also gives you the opportunity to apply theory to practice every semester through a five-week practicum setting. You’ll be able to practice your communication skills, better understand child development, and provide developmentally appropriate programming for children in a variety of settings.

We offer a:

  • one-year certificate program (Level 2 Certified),
  • and a two-year diploma (Level 3 Certified),

both providing certification under Alberta Family and Social Services. Our Early Learning and Child Care diploma is recognized throughout Alberta and across Canada as the qualification to work with young children.

High School 

High school diploma with

  • 50% in ELA 30-1 or 65% in ELA 30-2

Mature Route

You may be admitted following appropriate advising and testing. A high school diploma is not required although you must present

  • 50% in ELA 30-1 or 65% in ELA 30-2.


Students are selected for practicum on the basis of academic performance, professional suitability, fitness and conduct,volunteer community service, and availability of practicum sites.

Students should be aware that under the Protection for Persons in Care Act (January, 1998) they may be required to provide a current Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Search as well as an Alberta Children’s Services Intervention Record Check to the practicum placement supervisors prior to starting placements. A current First Aid Certificate and Heath Immunization Record will be required in practicum placements. Should the program coordinator judge, in consultation with faculty, that there is evidence that you are professionally unsuitable or a risk to clients,the coordinator may prohibit you from attending or completing a practicum.

NOTE: Students may take up to two courses “for interest” without meeting admission requirements. At this point, however, you must meet all admission requirements to continue.

FIRST YEAR (certificate only)

Fall Semester

CHPC 120*
Child Development I
CHPC 122 Interpersonal Relations I
CHPC 123 Health, Safety and Nutrition
ELCC 102
Development through Play I
ELCC 105 Practicum I
ENGL 123 Fundamentals of Writing and Speech
Winter Semester
CHPC 121*
Child Development II: An Introduction to Children with Special Needs
CHPC 124 Language and Literacy
ELCC 101* Introduction to Early Learning and Child Care
ELCC 112
Development through Play II
ELCC 113 Music and Movement
ELCC 115 Practicum II

* Also offered through Distributed Learning


Fall Semester
ELCC 201 Fine Arts
ELCC 202 Math and Science
ELCC 203 Interpersonal Relations II
ELCC 204 Ecology of the Family
ELCC 205 Practicum III
Winter Semester
ELCC 211 Infant and Toddler Care
ELCC 212 Professional Practice
ELCC 213 Inclusive Care and Education
ELCC 214 Children in Society
ELCC 215 Practicum IV


In the child care industry, you see how satisfied your client is every day. Working with children can be very rewarding, not only because you are helping them develop, but because they thank you for it in countless ways. Our program can help you secure employment in preschools, at child care centres and even in a Kindergarten classroom.  


Graduates of this program will find employment opportunities with: 


Preschools Child Care Centres Family Day Homes
Out of School Care Assistants in Kindergarten programs  

What is your education going to cost?

Our TUITION and FEES page provides a total cost estimate for your program including books and supplies and related expenses.

Looking for ways to help fund your education?

There are lots of options like student loans, scholarships, bursaries and emergency funding available.
Check out our FINANCIAL AID page for more information.

Many programs offered at Medicine Hat College qualify for transfer credits to other institutions. In some cases, you must transfer to another institution to complete your program and gain your credential.

The ACADEMIC CALENDAR has official information on transfer options for each program.
Please consult the calendar or meet with an academic advisor for more information.

At MHC, we care about students and want to help you succeed.

As a student, there may be times when you require support. Our SERVICES page provides you with links to a number of campus supports including academic success, counselling and care, health and wellness, and many other resources.

Have you always wanted to study abroad?

Enhance your education, share in cultural diversity and embrace new experiences. Visit the INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM section to find out more.