Skip to main content

COVID-19 Information | View up-to-date information about RDC's response

Early Learning and Child Care Diploma

Early Learning and Child Care practicum and RDC daycare

2 years

Main Campus
The Program

The importance of the early years in a child's development is well established. There is a critical need for a variety of programs for children and families and for trained staff to ensure children's developmental needs are being met. The Early Learning and Child Care Program trains professionals to work with children from birth to eight years, with some related preparation for working with children from eight to twelve years of age. Throughout the program, there is an emphasis on developing caring relationships with children and families.

A two-year diploma can help prepare students for a rewarding career. This program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop competencies in such areas as child development, interpersonal relations, curriculum content, family studies, exceptional children, and program management.

Focus is placed on the integration of theory and practice. This is accomplished by an extended practicum in a variety of early learning and care program environments.

RDC offers a two-year diploma program in Early Learning and Child Care. Each course you take focuses on a different topic important to those who work with young children - everything from child development, to guiding behavior, to planning snacks and bulletin boards, to planning and participating in play experiences, to interacting with children who have special needs.

The ELCC department operates in partnership with college and community programs serving children from birth to twelve years of age. Students work in practicum placements in these programs as a method of integrating theory and practice. There are two practicum courses in each of the ELCC programs. By the end of the Diploma Program, students assume many of the responsibilities related to preschool care and education in their practicums.

Program Content

*ELCC 305 School-Age Care Studies

*ELCC 308 Family Support

*ELCC 327 Infant and Toddler Studies

ELCC 329 Trauma Sensitive Practices

ELCC 309 Indigenous Ways in ELCC

ELCC 310 Practicum III

ELCC 315 Program Administration

ELCC 317 Creative Play Perspectives

ELCC 320 Practicum IV

ELCC 321 Family Studies

ELCC 323 Responsive STEM Environments

ELCC 325 Designing for Special Needs

*One of ELCC 305, ELCC 308, ELCC 327 or one other option approved by the Associate Dean.

Delivery Options

The Diploma in Early Learning and Child Care can be taken part-time through either online study or on-campus courses. It can also be taken full-time through on-campus study or by enrolling in a blend of on-campus and online courses. Students taking online courses complete their courses and practicums in their community. The blended online/on campus program is offered through a combination of online independent study materials, on-site learning (RDC campus), and computer-facilitated support. The entire cycle of online ELCC Diploma courses may be completed part-time over a two-year period or less through online, distance, or blended distance delivery. This multi-delivery approach is highly effective in meeting the diverse needs of adult students. Those wishing to complete the Diploma in one year (three consecutive terms) should enroll in the full-time on-campus or blended coursework program.

ELCC Diploma graduates may transfer to related fields in some university programs. Students wishing to transfer to these universities should seek information on additional admission requirements from the institution.

Students can enter the program in September, January or May and can register as part-time or full-time students.

See Flexible Learning for more information.

Special Fees and Expenses

Practicum courses are usually in the Red Deer area, but you should expect some extra costs for travel, clothes, etc.

Contact Us

RDC Inquiries

Mon-Fri 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Main Phone: 403.342.3400
Toll-free: 1.888.732.4630 (in Canada only)
Email: inquire [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca

Virtual Tour

Get to Know Us
View our Faculty & Staff Biographies