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 Work-Integrated Learning

Are you interested in working at your current childcare provider and studying ECE at Okanagan College?  A work-integrated learning (WIL) project is under development that will progress ECE Assistants and Responsible Adults to earn their ECE Certificate, Diploma, Infant Toddler Educator, and/ Special Needs Educator Certifications. Click on the link below to submit an expression of interest and we will contact you with further details.

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

Terri-Lynn Russell

Chair - Early Childhood Education
Office: Health Sciences Centre 304
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

Betty Cleland

Early Childhood Education
Office: Faculty Office 100
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445
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: Health Sciences Centre 304
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2288
Early Childhood Education - Barbara Fay

Alicia Larson

Early Childhood Education
Office: Main Building C345
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2210

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

Heather Ross

Early Childhood Education
Office: Health Sciences Centre 304
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

Michelle Erridge

Early Childhood Education
Office: Main Building C345
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291

Experience

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