ECED 401: Supporting Young Children’s Health and Well-Being in Early Childhood Settings

Course Outline (Online 3.0 credits)


Assignment 1:  Weekly reflections and responses to readings

Assignment 2:  Investigating well-being

Assignment 3:  Final paper/project

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


This online course introduces students to dimensions of young children’s well-being within the early learning and care context. The course will draw on early learning theory, research and policy to explore the concept of well-being as it applies to young children in early learning and care environments. While informed globally, this course will emphasize and draw on Canadian contributions, with applications specifically to the British Columbia geographic region. Through contemporary readings, observation, critical reflection and discussion, students will explore the notion of well-being within the frame of physical, social and emotional wellness. An opportunity for students to apply the concepts of well-being to their personal experiences invites the creation of meaningful links into professional practice.

ECED 401 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, the Diploma in Early Years Education, and the BC ECE Assistant Certificate Program.


  • To learn about the diverse dimensions of well-being in early learning and care settings
  • To understand safety, health, nutrition and responsive environments as critical supports for children’s growth and vital components of rich early learning and care environment
  • To clarify what the role of the educator is in providing safe, healthy spaces for all participants in an early learning and care community
  • To become knowledgeable about respectful responses to cultural, personal and family beliefs of well-being
  • To learn to use professional reflection as an effective support for continual growth, learning and improvement of professional practice as it pertains to children’s health and well-being.


This course will be offered online on Canvas – Lessons will be organized according to topics with specific readings and related activities for each topic over the course of one semester.


Perspectives on well-being

Exploration of the notion of well-being; the multiple perspectives of well-being to be considered within an early learning and care setting and the ways in which they interface.

 2 Physical well-being: Nutrition
Examination of the important role of nutrition in well-being and policy support for healthy nutritional practices; exploration of honouring and respecting nutritional preferences/needs and the balancing of preferences within the professional setting.
 3 Physical well-being: Sleep
Acknowledgment of the connection between sleep and well-being; highlighting and exploring perspectives on sleep within early learning and care environments, potential challenges and solutions.
 4 Physical well-being: Illness
Introduction to common childhood illnesses as an important consideration of well-being within early learning and care settings; identifying common childhood illnesses and ways to minimize, prevent and manage illness within an early learning and care environment to encourage the healthy well-being of all participants.
 5 Physical well-being: Movement
Focus on human kinetics as a critical element of well-being, positive growth and learning including investigation into the benefits and challenges of movement inclusion in practice.
 6 Social well-being: Inclusion
Critical and practical examination of inclusion toward identifying:  Who? What? When? Where? and How? Students are invited to discuss, reflect and discover creative ways to honour and respect diverse abilities, ages, cultures, languages, traditions, beliefs and genders while maintaining the dignity of all participants in a professional early learning and care context.
 7 Social well-being: Personal Safety
A close practical view of levels of children’s personal safety; examines the educator’s role and responsibilities in supporting each child’s personal safety.
 8 Social well-being: Safe, rich spaces
Introduction of spaces as safe and healthy supports of well-being, with focus on the indicators of such spaces (indoors and outdoors) and discussion surrounding the challenges and possibilities for the creation of safe, healthy spaces in early learning and care settings.
 9 Emotional well-being: Stress
Recognition of stress as an element of well-being is approached in terms of children, educators and families. Attention is placed on indicators, recognition and the reciprocal interactive effects of stress between these groups; student discussion and reflection surrounds methods to minimize negative stress and support healthy emotional well-being for all participants in the early learning setting.
10 Emotional well-being: Resilience
Extension of the discussion of stress to examine resilience and the ways in which resilience can be supported in early childhood education and care environments.
11 Emotional well-being: Communicating with young children
Review of positive communication techniques will provide the opportunity for students to understand how communications with young children can offer practical supportive links encouraging all dimensions of well-being.
12 Concluding reflections
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