Apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios, gain experience working with children—in Early Childhood Curriculum Studies you gain practical experience starting in the first year of the program.

Field placements are hosted by child care programs as well as by family support agencies, government offices and a variety of community organizations. Whether you exit the program with a two-year diploma or go the distance with the degree, future employers know you have the hands-on experience that will make you an asset to their program.

First- and second-year placements

In the first two years of the program, you complete four field placements, accumulating enough hours to meet Alberta Child Care Staff Certification requirements for Child Development Worker and Child Development Supervisor certifications. Students who leave the program after two years have the academic qualifications to apply for Child Development Supervisor (Level 3) Certification through Alberta Children’s Services.

During your placements, which run for five weeks each term in the first two years, you are supervised by an on-site mentor and a MacEwan faculty member, who visits you once a week at your placement. You will be given detailed policies, procedures, protocols and expectations regarding your placement.

Your MacEwan faculty coordinator is responsible for finding you a placement.

Senior internship and capstone project

In the final year of your degree, you work for 150 hours as a senior intern at an early childhood organization. The internship (ECCS 455 Senior Internship in Research, Policy, and Practice) focuses on curriculum development and implementation, research in early learning, advanced practice with children and families and pedagogical leadership. As a senior intern, you integrate the skills and apply the knowledge you’ve developed throughout the program.

The experience you gain and the research you undertake during the internship is distilled in a capstone project, which is produced in ECCS 450, a required, three-credit, end-of-program course. Your capacity for independent intellectual work and professional responsibility are demonstrated through the capstone project.

Upon completion of the capstone course and your senior internship, you are well positioned to function with integrity in the field guided by professional principles, values, ethics and expectations. You are prepared to advocate for social justice, policy change and sustainability issues related to children and families and for advancing the field of early childhood.

Your MacEwan faculty coordinator is responsible for finding you a senior internship; however, you are invited to be part of the process for selecting the internship and the correlating capstone project.