ECED 400: Introduction to Early Childhood Education and Care

Course Outline (Online 3.0 credits)


Assignment 1: Weekly reflections and responses to readings

Assignment 2: Observation – rights and responsibilities

Assignment 3: Final paper

This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.


This online course will introduce students to contemporary principles related to early learning and care with a particular focus on discovering points of connection between theory, research, policy and professional practice. Through readings, observation, critical reflection and discussion, students will explore perspectives and tensions in early learning and care framed within human rights, ethical practice, governance, advocacy and leadership. Students will learn to identify ways in which these influences connect, combine and affect the daily lives of young children, families, educators and communities in professional early learning and care environments.

ECED 400 is a core course for the Minor in Education – Early Childhood Education and the BC ECE Basic Certificate Program. This online course is an elective for the Certificate in Early Years Education and the Diploma in Early Years Education.


  • To become knowledgeable about theoretical influences on early childhood education and care (ECEC)
  • To learn about different types of early learning and care settings
  • To understand the complexity of governance and responsibilities in ECEC in Canada and BC
  • To engage with the notion of ethical practice in ECEC (including children’s rights)
  • To become familiar with modes of leadership and advocacy in ECEC
  • To understand systems and connections in ECEC in Canada and BC
  • To learn to use professional reflection as an effective support for continual growth, learning, and improvement of professional practice as it pertains to early childhood education and care in Canada


This course will be offered online on Canvas –

1 Perspectives on Early Learning: explores types of ECEC environments and invites critical examination of the purpose and responsibilities of professional ECEC settings.
2 Theoretical Influences: reviews of significant theoretical perspectives on ECEC with opportunity for reflection on how theory relates to practice.
3 Contemporary Canadian Influences: introduces to the contributions of contemporary Canadians to the field of ECEC.
4 Philosophical Approaches and Practices: investigates some of the current philosophical approaches to ECEC commonly found in Canada (specifically British Columbia); identifies the ways these approaches link to theory, research and social policies.
5 Children as humans with Rights and Responsibilities: introduces the concept of young children’s human rights and highlights respect of these inherent rights within professional practice, explores the ways rights may be supported on a daily basis, and the links between rights and responsibility.
6 Children at Play: reviews the notion of play as a valuable learning process with focus on the features, characteristics, stages and types of play. This is followed by inquiry into the role of the educator in children’s play.
7 Governance and Responsibilities: presents the multiple levels of governance and responsibilities in ECEC with opportunities to identify links and discover connections with theory and research.
8 Systems: introduces the concept of systems with identification of the significant participants in ECEC systems.
9 Connections and Relationships: explores the ways in which children, families, learning communities, larger social communities and the natural world may link as interconnected and supportive systems.
10 Ethical Practice and Decision Making: introduces the BC Early Childhood Educator Code of Ethics that guide professional practice with reflection on how ethical decision making, personal values, and beliefs impact practice.
11 Leadership and Advocacy: initiates discussion surrounding leadership in ECEC, including agents of leadership and advocacy.
12 The Wrap-Up: A final discussion of the ideas from this course that held particular interest and meaning to each student, how it has influenced their perspectives and how they plan to carry these ideas forward into practice.


This is an online course. Students are required to have a computer, access to the Internet, and a Campus Wide Login ID and password to access the course website.

There is no textbook required.


Your EZproxy connection will allow you to access library resources from your computer on or off campus. For more information, go to


Telephone: 604.822.2013, or toll-free in North America: 1.888.492.1122

Latest Revision on: November 5, 2019