Department of Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education student studies in the child care centre

The Early Childhood Education Department prepares students to work with young children in a variety of inclusive early childhood environments. Students will acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to work with children, families and the community in planning enriched programs in daycares, preschools, infant/toddler centres and other early childhood initiatives that focus upon healthy early development.

ECE Diploma

This two-year program is the foundational education required for all Early Childhood Educators.

Infant Toddler Certificate

After gaining experience in the field, this advanced training certificate allows graduates to work with infants and toddlers.

Courses

Explore the courses offered within ECE programs at Okanagan College.

Instructors

Pamela Wetterstrand

Chair - Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 232
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4385
Early Childhood Education - Pam Wetterstrand

I have been an Early Childhood Education instructor for over 35 years. My career working with young children began as a preschool teacher and evolved into working at SIAST in Saskatoon as an instructor and then to the Child Development Center in Kelowna where I was a Supported Child Development Consultant and a Case manager. For the last 12 years I have been a full-time instructor at Okanagan College. My specific interest area is the emotional wellness of children and youth. I was a clinical counsellor for a time and believe strongly that there is a role in ECE to promote resiliency in young children. I have three grown children and four grandchildren.

Credentials:
MEd, University of Victoria - Psychological Foundations


Betty Cleland

Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 222
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4385
Headshot of Betty Cleland

I am an instructor in the Early Childhood program, beginning 2008. Prior, I worked directly with children and families in preschool, full day childcare, family child care, and supported child development. A highlight in my early education career has been to design, establish, and facilitate a preschool program for 80 children that continues to thrive today.

I am community minded, working collaboratively with local childcare and youth organizations in the Okanagan Valley. I was an advisor to the Minister of State for Childcare. This commitment to enhancing social policy and investing in the next generation of professionals was formally recognized in 2017, as I was honoured with the Kelowna Community Leader Mentor Award.
 

Credentials:
MA Ed, Early Childhood Education, Concordia


Barb Fay

Early Childhood Education
Office: Main Building D317
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2288
Early Childhood Education - Barbara Fay

Alicia Larson

Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 222
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4385

I have worked in the childcare field since 2000. I began working in the hospital setting with children and their families as a Certified Child Life Specialist. I have worked in group childcare as well as infant/toddler in a young parent’s program. For five years, I worked in the community with child care providers that wanted to open an in-home daycare. I have worked as a sessional instructor in the ECE department at Okanagan College since 2016.

Credentials:
BA, Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria


Diane Little

Early Childhood Education
Office: Salmon Arm Building 150
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 3218
Headshot of Diane Little

Heather Ross

Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 219
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4319
Early Childhood Education - Heather Ross

Credentials:
MA, Applied Behavioral Science, Leadership Institute of Seattle
BA, Psychology, University of Waterloo
Diploma, ECE, Okanagan College


Terri-Lynn Russell

Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 220
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4387
Early Childhood Education - Terri Russell

I have worked in the childcare field since 1996. My work experience has included working in licensed family daycare, group daycare and preschool. I worked for over 10 years with children and families requiring extra support needs in our community. I have worked as an instructor in the ECE department at OC since 2017.

Credentials:
MSW, UBC Okanagan
BSW, UBC Okanagan
PIDP, VCC
ECE, UFV


Andrea Thiessen

Early Childhood Education
Office: Main Building A300
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-762-5445
Early Childhood Education - Andrea Thiessen

Credentials:
MSc, Child and Family Studies, University of Southern Mississippi


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