The Early Childhood Development Program is designed to train students to work with children from infancy to the age of six, with an emphasis placed on the preschool years. It offers a balance between classroom discussion, lectures, practical training and many opportunities to develop teaching materials and guidance skills.
The Early Childhood Development Program will develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to promote the well-being of children, families and communities. The primary focus is on promoting the growth and development of healthy children. This program also trains people to design, deliver and/or evaluate programs and services in the community. Principles of the program include:
- Addressing the needs of children pre-natal to six years of age;
- Enhancing child, family and community development;
- Supporting the role of parents/guardians by being family-centred;
- Stressing wellness and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle;
- Following a holistic approach to foster a healthy environment for children and families;
- Community-based and community-sponsored early childhood development;
- Offering an introduction to the services available in the community, region and territory;
- Adhering to culturally appropriate traditions guided by Aboriginal perspectives;
- Stressing practical application of classroom theory; and
- Developing and relying on community support systems for the student.
Students who successfully complete the Early Childhood Development Certificate may find work as assistants in daycare centres, nursery schools, playgroups, or as operators of their own daycare homes, or seek employment with Bands, Hamlets, Municipalities, Regional Health and Social Services, health-related fields, Aboriginal organizations, community agencies or the Government of the Northwest Territories. The demand for trained early childhood teachers is great and is connected to many leadership roles.