Native Education

Indigenous Early Childhood Education Dual Diploma

Special Needs/ Infant and Toddler

Program Description

In this 8-month certificate program, students prepare for specialization of early childhood education and care, with a focus on working with children with exceptionalities. In this dual diploma program, students will gain foundational knowledge about the field of early childhood education (ECE) in a program that is infused and centres Indigenous Knowledges and world view. Students will acquire the necessary skills and competencies for successful and multidirectional career paths in ECE. Course content includes Indigenous approaches to childrearing and children with exceptionalities; thinking with the BC Early Learning Framework (ELF) and the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework (IELLC) into practice; thinking critically with interdisciplinary perspectives; and how to support and promote Indigenous children’s identity development and connections with their Nation’s cultural practices and traditions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Indigenous Early Childhood Educator Certificate, the learner will be able to

1. Connect Indigenous infants/toddlers and children with exceptionalities to cultural practices, traditions, and knowledge related to their Nations and Peoples.

2. Think critically about the ongoing history of settler-colonialism in ECE and learn how to decolonize the practice of caring for and working with children with exceptionalities.

3. Learn how to implement teaching practices that are inclusive and responsive to children’s diverse communication and learning styles, needs, and backgrounds

4. Support and plan for the health, safety, and nutritional needs of children with support needs, including snack, sleep training, emotional regulation, and meal planning)

5. Develop a personal toolkit with strategies for supporting parents and families.

6. Communicate effectively and professionally, building relationships with children with support needs and Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, mentors, and staff.

Get the hands-on training in a path to a high-level meaningful career that improves Indigenous Children's lives

Apply NOW for scholarships for the following school year, which begins in September 2023.

Occupation upon Completion

After graduating from this program, students apply to the ECE Registry for their five-year ITE certificates. Once this certification is received, students can work independently or as the primary educator in licensed, supportive early learning settings for children from birth to 5 years of age. Once students have completed 500 hours of either paid or volunteer work at a centre, students can then apply for their five-year license to practice.

Students can choose to pursue further certification with NEC’s IECE Diploma program, where they gain their Infant/Toddler Educator (SNE) certification.

Students who complete the IECE Certificate program can transfer into the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP). Students transfer into the second year of their Bachelor of Education degree.

Students from other institutions and ECE certification programs are welcome to transfer to NEC to complete their coursework, including practicum.

Course Descriptions


ECE 227 Working with Families (3 credits)

ECE 269 Administration of Childcare Program (3 credits)

ECE 280 Indigenous Health Care (3 credits)

ECE 282 Advanced Development (3 credits)

ECE 283 Foundation of Working w/ Exceptional Child (3 credits)

ECE 287 Planning for Inclusive Practice (3 credits)

ECE 289 Responsive & Inclusive Practice (3 credits)

ECE 285 Inclusive Practicum & Seminar (5 credits)

ECE 294 Indigenous Practice with Infant & Toddler (3 credits)

ECE 295 Infant Toddler Practicum & Seminar (5 credits)

Admission Requirements, Fees & Tuition

Tuition & Fees
  • Graduated from NEC’s IECE Certificate Program a minimum of “C” grade average (GPA 2.0)
  • Two Reference Letters
  • Criminal Records Check
  • TB test Negative
  • Doctor’s note of good health and mental and physical  fitness to work with young children
Program Tuition: $5,580.00 
Registration: $75.00 
Graduation: $30.00 
Student Association: $30.00 
Student Record and Student Card Fee: $15.00 
Transportation – Upass $368.00 
ECE Lab Fee $200.00 
*Books & Supplies (w/tax) $865.75
*Laptop (w/tax - optional) $1,050.00 
TOTAL:  $7,163.75
TOTAL:(with laptop & backpack) $8,213.75 

The sooner you apply, the better your chances

Apply now!

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Anastasia Nahanee

“I am from the Squamish Nation, and my two children encourage me to return to school so that I can be an inspiration for them. Before NEC, I felt like I didn’t qualify for some jobs since I didn’t receive the proper education. At NEC I found resources that helped me, and counselling was a significant support for me. I feel grateful to have completed my Certificate and am looking forward to obtain my Diploma in Indigenous Childhood Education this year

IECE - Student 2023