BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Aboriginal Early Childhood Education Diploma

Department: Career Training (Education)
Program Delivery Location: Merritt
Credential: Diploma
Format: Full-Time, Part-Time
Start Dates:

Aboriginal Early Childhood Education Diploma

The Aboriginal Early Childhood Education (AECE) diploma is awarded to recognize the successful completion of the equivalent of 2 years of full-time study. In addition to the successful completion of the AECE certificate, students are required to take the courses, 46 credits, as prescribed below with a total of 94 credits. An overall minimum GPA of 2.33 is required.
The NVIT Aboriginal Early Childhood Education Diploma Program is designed to meet provincial certification and licensing standards for Infant/Toddler and Special Needs children. The program will ensure academic, community, and First Nations standards are adhered to so that NVIT graduates are successful, effective child development workers and educators in British Columbia communities. The program is designed to run ten months from the beginning of September to the end of June.
Successful completion of this program will allow graduates to work as supervisors in a variety of daycare settings, to work with children who have special needs in a variety settings, and to work with infants and toddlers under three years of age.

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 Diploma/mature student

  • AECE/ECE Certificate from NVIT or another post-secondary institution

  • Medical Reference form for AECE (available from NVIT)

  • Immunization Record form for AECE (available from NVIT)

  • A professional letter of reference from an individual working in the childcare, education, or special needs field.


All applicants must attend an interview the last week in August with an individual in the department.
All admitted students will be required to obtain a current clear Criminal Record Check from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Refer to the Ministry website for details on this process: http:/www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/criminal-records-review/ This application will be completed by all students on the first day of classes. The results of this check must be forwarded to the AECE Program Coordinator for retention and presentation to practicum facilities.
Must have transportation in order to travel to practicum placements that are throughout the Nicola Valley and Thompson Regions.
For more information, contact Denyse Oswald-Finch 250.378.3311 or doswaldfinch@nvit.bc.ca

Year 2 Fall
  • AECE-204 - Early Years Development III
  • AECE-208 - Special Topics in Child Care
  • AECE-216 - Administrative Licensing & Leadership
  • AECE-224 - Programming for Early Years II
  • AECE-260 - Infant and Toddler Practicum
  • Year 2 Spring
  • AECE-210 - Working With Families
  • AECE-214 - Exploring Perspectives in Communication
  • AECE-226 - Natural Environments in Child Care
  • AECE-234 - Guidance for Early Years II
  • AECE-265 - Special Needs Practicum
  • Course Listing for this program

    AECE-204 - Credits: 4.000
    Early Years Development III
    Students will study the normal development of children from conception, and compare that with developmental disabilities. There will be an emphasis on learning the relevant terminology and identifying children with exceptionalities. A component of this course will be exploring the physical, motor, perceptual, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development of children from prenatal to three years of age. This course will also examine various interventions used by professionals to guide development of exceptional children. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE 104 / AECE Certificate or equivalent
    AECE-208 - Credits: 3.000
    Special Topics in Child Care
    Students will explore language and culture related to their Aboriginal heritage. This is a variable content course and is designed to allow students the opportunity to investigate specific cultural practices or special needs relevant to a daycare setting. Emphasis is placed on learning an Aboriginal language that will be used in your daycare setting. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE Certificate or equivalent.
    AECE-210 - Credits: 3.000
    Working With Families
    This course will examine public policy, social issues, and personal attitudes and values as they relate to children and families in a childcare setting. An emphasis will be placed on the influence of family, culture and community within the context of Aboriginal and other settings. Students learn that family dynamics and challenges are central to positive and empowering relationships. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE Certificate or equivalent.
    AECE-214 - Credits: 3.000
    Exploring Perspectives in Communication
    Students will explore advanced communication techniques, which include verbal, nonverbal and listening skills. They will examine interpersonal relationships and interpersonal conflict resolution. Emphasis will be on communication with individuals and within families of various structures. Topics covered include the foundations, philosophies and history of communication in Aboriginal communities and with families. Communication roles and responsibilities between teachers and the Aboriginal communities will also be examined. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE certificate or equivalent.
    AECE-216 - Credits: 3.000
    Administrative Licensing & Leadership
    Students will study the differences between transformational and transactional leadership styles. Students will identify and practice the leadership skills, required to be a daycare supervisor or to be an administrator. Additionally, students will examine sound program management, fiscal management, licensing, personal management and organizational structure. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE Certificate or equivalent
    AECE-224 - Credits: 3.000
    Programming for Early Years II
    Students will explore programming, curriculum and environment development as they relate to infant to three years of age (as well as children with exceptionalities) in an early childhood daycare setting. Aboriginal approaches to Early Childhood daycare programming and curriculum will be investigated. Additionally, this course will study the history of inclusion, developmentally appropriate programs, accessibility, indoor and outdoor play environments and inclusive curriculum. Topics specific to this course will include theories of development and use of these theories to plan developmentally appropriate curriculum and environment. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE 124 / or equivalent. AECE Certificate or equivalent.
    AECE-226 - Credits: 3.000
    Natural Environments in Child Care
    Students will study the natural outdoor environment as a learning center for curriculum and programming. Teachers' roles, responsibilities, and polices regarding outdoor play will be a key component. Connecting Aboriginal values, and traditions with the outdoor curriculum will also be addressed. Topics will include culture and the environment, value of outdoor play, and sustainable materials and equipment. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE certificate or equivalent.
    AECE-234 - Credits: 3.000
    Guidance for Early Years II
    This course will examine direct and indirect guidance in Early Childhood Education. Secure and nurturing relationships will be discussed in relation to Aboriginal views and moral beliefs. The concepts of classroom management, self-esteem, resiliency, stress, and anger will be discussed with respect to infants and toddlers. Additionally, students will explore the skills required for specialized care and guidance of exceptional children, infant through the kindergarten years. This course will stress the importance of identification and assessing exceptionalities and the resources required to provide the maximum benefit for the child. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE 134 / or equivalent. AECE Certificate or equivalent.
    AECE-260 - Credits: 6.000
    Infant and Toddler Practicum
    Students will complete 212 hours of a supervised practicum, in a variety of settings designed to enhance the skills, knowledge and attitudes for working with children, infant through three years of age. Students will learn about theory and applied skills and practice, which address the needs of children, parents and facilities in a culturally-appropriate manner. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE-204 / AECE-224 / AECE-216
    AECE-265 - Credits: 6.000
    Special Needs Practicum
    The special needs practicum consists of 212 hours of guided, supervised experience in a variety of educational settings with children who require extra support. Emphasis is on developing skills, knowledge, and self in the student, and providing quality care and educational opportunities for children and families. This course includes both theory and developmentally appropriate practice. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: AECE-210 / AECE-260 / AECE-234

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