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St. Clair College ECE Program Is More Than Playing With Children

Thursday July 24th, 2014, 3:00pm


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St. Clair College is ensuring Ontario residents can go to work with quality care for their children.

The Early Childhood Education program offered at St. Clair College prepares graduates for employment in all kinds of institutions such as kindergarten classrooms, before and after school programs, early learning programs and much more.

“People will always need education and care for young children,” said Kathryn Petro, Professor, Early Childhood Education at St. Clair College. “For many families, staying home to raise their children is not feasible.  Other families choose to pursue a career. Early childhood educators provide that stable quality programming for children while their parents are at work.”

The ECE program is offered at both the Windsor Campus and the Thames Campus in Chatham as a two year diploma.

Applicants to the ECE program need to be versatile and able to work with children of all ages. Petro said while most applicants are those who assume since they enjoy working with young children, it’s a natural fit. While that’s a good place to start, educators will also need to work with other adults in a professional manor. ECE workers will work with a number of other adult professionals, such as psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, resource specialists and of course their manager.

Linda Hill, also a professor for Early Childhood Education at St. Clair College said it’s a common misconception the jobs is all about playing with children.

“It’s about developing the skill sets to know how to facilitate and support children’s play,” said Hill. “Students learn about how to recognize exactly what a child is learning through their play, how to document that learning and how to communicate those findings to a variety of other professionals. To accomplish this educators must have a strong understanding of child development. And of course, caring for a group of 15 toddlers is very different than babysitting a few neighborhood children.”

The ideal candidate for the program has a very strong work ethic. Of course, they must also be caring and patient. The job often calls for one to put the child’s needs before their own. Hill said applicants should know there is also a great deal of paperwork involved with their job, and they need to have very strong English skills.

“One more thing,” said Hill. “You have to be able to change diapers. There’s no getting around it. Just as children learn to write their letters, they learn to control their bodies. So you must have respect for all kinds of learning.”

The program is still open for applicants and anyone interested should visit the registrars office at St. Clair College.

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