BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Indigenous Early Childhood Educator Assist. Micro-Credential

Program Delivery Location: Merritt and Community
Credential: Micro-Credential
Format: Full-Time, Part-Time

Indigenous Early Childhood Educator Assist. Micro-Credential

NVIT’s Indigenous Early Childhood Education Program

The Indigenous Early Childhood Education (IECE) program provides students with the skills and knowledge to provide quality care and education for young children. The IECE certificate honours Indigenous ways of knowing and being by placing local and traditional child development practices at the center of the program and by preparing Early Childhood Educators to work with children in the community in which they reside.

The IECE certificate program encourages students to examine both the role of the child, family and the educator focussing on concepts of belonging, learning, and sharing to strengthen identity through culture. The program supports the Early Childhood Educator in developing strategies for guiding and caring that support healthy social-emotional development for young children.

About Micro-Credentials

According to the British Columbia Council on Admissions & Transfer (BCCAT), micro-credentials “provide validated evidence of what a person knows and can do in a focus area, skill or competency at a granular level; these credentials tend to be very specific in their purpose” (BCCAT, 2020). Post-secondary institutions are exploring the establishment of micro-credentials at an increasing level and offering micro-credential opportunities to build skill-specific competencies to meet the immediate demands of the workforce.

Although an Early Childhood Educator Assistant Micro-Credential requires the completion of more than the minimum one course required by the Ministry, the intention of this program is to not only provide access to employment, but to also prepare learners better for the field. Additionally, by offering a comprehensive course package, students have an advanced understanding of the requirements needed to become an Early Childhood Educator Assistant.

Early Childhood Educator Assistants

Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Assistants work alongside certified Early Childhood Educators in licensed childcare programs for children birth to 5 years of age.

To become an ECE Assistant, applicants must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and ability by submitting confirmation of at least one of the following:

  • Successful completion of at least one early childhood education course in child guidance; child health, safety, and nutrition; or child development, completed within the last 5 years at a program recognized by the ECE Registry 

  • Successful completion of one course within the last 5 years that is deemed equivalent by the ECE Registry

  • Valid certification or registration in another Canadian province or territory

  • A character reference

Career Opportunities

Most ECE Assistants work in licensed settings such as childcare centers, StrongStart BC centers, before and after school programs or preschool programs.

IECE Assistant Micro-Credential:

The intent of the IECE Assistant micro-credential is to encourage employment while completing the additional academic requirements to attain a certificate in Indigenous Early Childhood Education at NVIT. By bundling all three required courses into one micro-credential, students are better prepared for employment as well as more advanced in their academic pathway.

The micro-credential features the following early childhood education courses:

  • IECE 101: Child Health and Wellness

  • IECE 103: Stories, Ideas, and Pathways of Child Development

  • IECE 134: Guiding Through Gifts in Indigenous Early Years

IECE Assistant Micro-Credential Admission Requirements:

  • Grade 12 Diploma or Mature status (19 years of age) 

  • English 12/English 12 First Peoples or ENGL 060*; 

* Applicants may be admitted with English 11 or 050 but will be required to take ENGL 060 as part of their program. 

Course Transferability:

Courses in NVIT’s Indigenous Early Childhood Education program are approved by the ECE Registry. For more information visit on course transferability, please visit www.bctransferguide.ca 

Micro-credential Completion Plan

An IECE Assistant Micro-Credential is awarded upon the successful completion of the three (3) prescribed courses listed below:  

  • IECE-101 - Child Health and Wellness
  • IECE-103 - Stories, Ideas, and Pathways of Child Development
  • IECE-134 - Guiding Through Gifts in Indigenous Early Years
  • Course Listing for this program

    IECE-101 - Credits: 3.000
    Child Health and Wellness
    This course focuses on holistic health and wellness principles to support child development, family, and personal wellness. The overall goal is that students will be introduced to concepts of preventative health, nutrition, and safety, particularly in a local Indigenous context. IECE 101 will ensure students are aware of the current health regulations, policies, and the realities within Indigenous communities. As part of IECE 101, students may also participate in industry certifications like First Aid and Foodsafe. More Details on this course
    IECE-103 - Credits: 3.000
    Stories, Ideas, and Pathways of Child Development
    IECE 103 examines perspectives on growth and development of children from pre-conception to 3 years of age. The image of the child in society, and the influence of family and culture on children's growth, are addressed inclusive of Indigenous ways of knowing and being. More Details on this course
    IECE-134 - Credits: 3.000
    Guiding Through Gifts in Indigenous Early Years
    In IECE 134 students will be introduced to the principles of guiding and caring for children through an Indigenous perspective of the child as a gift. The focus will be on the child at the centre of a community model of care. The course will highlight developing methods of guiding and caring for children in ways that honour culture, identity, and support healthy child development, while promoting positive behavior and the development of social-emotional skills. This course will be built on local community practices of child rearing and will honour and include key Indigenous principles of child development. More Details on this course

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