Develop understandings and skills to work authentically and meaningfully with young learners and families to build healthy communities and to create stronger foundations for future learning. This certificate program is available for in-service teachers who desire further professional growth opportunities to support their pedagogical and assessment practices for Prekindergarten to Grade 3. Attention to Indigenous and newcomer cultural and linguistic experiences is integral to the program.

Quick facts
  • Two year certificate
  • Part-time program
  • You cannot begin this program directly from high school

What you will learn

The ECE Certificate program will support early childhood professionals to further their understanding and enhance their pedagogical practices by responding to young learners and their families in developmentally, and linguistically and culturally, appropriate ways.

Courses are designed to inspire reflection, engagement, and growth in the complex interplay of early learning principles and practices such as the following: the image of the child; the role of the educator; indoor and outdoor learning environments; parent and community engagement; the "play-development" relationship; constructivist approaches to teaching and learning; assessment literacy; and current trends and issues in the field.

The curricular goals address essential philosophical, theoretical, and pedagogical understandings about early childhood education, Prekindergarten to Grade 3. Course participants will:

  • explore, affirm, and/or challenge beliefs and assumptions about early childhood education and how young children learn
  • develop familiarity with and use current scholarly and professional resources to inform philosophical, theoretical and pedagogical underpinnings
  • develop a deeper understanding and application of the four principles of early learning as outlined in Saskatchewan Ministry of Education (2008, 2009) curricular documents
  • strengthen pedagogical practice through examining and applying foundational elements of high-quality early learning programs and by responding to young children's interests and ways of being and knowing
  • differentiate practice through knowledge of children and their milieus
  • attend to Essential Learning Experiences, Play and Exploration, and K-3 Saskatchewan Curriculum as well as Saskatchewan Ministry of Education resource documents to guide critical analysis and reflection
  • learn ways to create a community of learners that promotes agency, voice, and choice
  • nurture the sense of importance, value, and honour of being an early childhood educator within the profession

The certificate program is designed as a five course, 15 credit-unit program. The courses that comprise the certificate include the following:

  • ECUR 483.3: Trends and Issues in the Early Years
  • ECUR 484.3: The "Play-Development" Relationship: Curricular Commonplaces in the Early Years
  • ECUR 485.3: Parent Engagement in the Early Years
  • ECUR 486.3: Early Years Pedagogy: Principles and Practices
  • ECUR 487.3: Authentic Assessment Practices: Teaching and Learning in the Early Years

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

The College of Education offers several longstanding and new certificate programs to assist current educators to deepen their knowledge in a chosen area. Our certificate programs are flexible, designed to support busy schedules, and respond to community needs.

The ECE certificate program, Prekindergarten to Grade 3, is designed in response to the identified need for teachers with specialization in the field of Early Childhood Education in public and First Nations schools in our province and beyond. The program's vision, developed in collaboration with partner school division leaders and teachers, is founded on current and developing research in early years philosophy, theory, and pedagogy.


If you already have your Bachelor of Education (or an equivalent degree) and are currently teaching in the Prekindergarten to Grade 12 school system, this certificate program will enhance your career. Approved by the Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board (SPTRB) as an Additional Qualification Certificate (AQC) or as part of course requirements in an AQC Integrated Program, the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate offered through the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan is for teachers wishing to pursue professional learning in Early Childhood Education.

In addition to the five ECE courses, completion of another five elective courses available through the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan in Early Childhood Education (AQC), or another approved subject area (AQC Integrated Program), will qualify you to advance to a higher salary classification.

If you are currently teaching in another province, please consult with your provincial Ministry of Education to learn how the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate offered through the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan can benefit you and your students.

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $681 per class $1,859 per class
Fees $470 per year $470 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2019-2020 Canadian dollar rates).
Fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a part-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $100 and $200 per class.

College info

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate is offered by the College of Education.

The College of Education offers a number of longstanding and new certificate programs to assist current educators to deepen their knowledge in a chosen area. Our certificate programs are flexible, designed to support busy schedules, and respond to changing educational needs and community demographics.

Admission requirements and deadlines

Admission requirements

Applicants to the program must be either:

  • a current student enrolled in the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) program, or
  • a graduate of the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree program.

Special permission to enroll in the certificate program may be granted by the Curriculum Studies Department. For more information call 306-966-7601 or email ece.inquiries@usask.ca.


Start term Application Deadline International Deadline
July 2020
May 1, 2020
Documents due: Jun 1, 2020
Mar 1, 2020
Documents due: Apr 1, 2020
September 2020
Aug 15, 2020
Documents due: Aug 15, 2020
May 1, 2020
Documents due: Jun 1, 2020
January 2021
Dec 1, 2020
Documents due: Dec 15, 2020
Sep 1, 2020
Documents due: Oct 1, 2020

Ready to apply?

A non-refundable application fee of $90 CDN is required before your application will be processed.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.


For more information, contact the Curriculum Studies Department, College of Education at:

Phone: 306-966-7601
Email: ece.inquiries@usask.ca

Curriculum Studies Department
College of Education
28 Campus Drive
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X1