Early years specialization

Easly years specialization

The early years specialization is designed to meet the growing demand for early years practitioners who can work across a range of services for young children (up to six years of age) and their families.

Its focus is to promote leadership and the necessary skills to build capacity within communities. Social justice and cultural diversity are threads that underlie all courses in the specialization.

  • Offered online (distance) during third and fourth year of the Bachelor in Child and Youth Care (BCYC) program.
  • Students will receive a BCYC upon successful completion of the specialization courses as well as CYC and UVic course requirements.
  • CYC students who enter the program in first year can begin the early years specialization in their third year. 

Main areas of study

  1. Community development and capacity building to support young children, their families and communities
  2. Leadership, advocacy, and policy issues in early years services embedded within socio-political and economic contexts
  3. Processes of assessment and evaluation relevant to practitioners working in the area of the early years
  4. Social justice and cultural pluralism
  5. Direct involvement in early years related settings to help students connect the knowledge and skills covered in courses

Required courses for specialization

These are in addition to required courses in the BCYC program.

  • CYC 380 - Practices for Young Children and Families: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (1.5 units)
  • CYC 381 - Leadership, Advocacy and Policy for the Early Years (1.5 units)
  • CYC 480 - Advanced Applied Capacity Building for the Early Years (1.5 units)
  • CYC 481 - Assessment and Evaluation in Contemporary Early Years Settings (1.5 units)
  • CYC 410 - Advanced Supervised Practicum: Must be completed in an early years setting.

About the coursework

The early years specialization provides relevant coursework for students who have completed college-level education in:

  • early childhood education (ECE)
  • infant development programs (IDP)
  • infant mental health
  • supported child development (SCD)
  • cross-cultural early childhood development (ECD)
  • parenting support
  • early learning and literacy

The courses are instrumental in building and expanding upon the knowledge and skills addressed in college-level certificate and diploma programs related to the early years.

To obtain level one professional certification as an early childhood educator students must complete all specialization requirements and:

  1. take CYC 280, Creating Programs and Environments for Young Children
  2. successfully complete their  CYC 210CYC 310 and CYC 410 practica in a licensed child care or early years centre, and
  3. master all ECE competencies specified by the ECE Registry

For more information on certification requirements, visit the ECE Registry by the end of CYC 410.

If you've already successfully completed an early childhood certificate or diploma, you may be eligible for block credit upon admission to the CYC degree program.

If you've completed a human services training program at an accredited institution with an overall GPA of B (5.0) or higher, you may be eligible to receive block credit upon admission to the School of Child and Youth Care:

  • 15 units for a one-year certificate
  • 30 units for a two-year diploma
  • This does not include vocational certificates or diplomas.

If you've completed an early childhood diploma in BC, you may be able to complete the CYC degree program in approximately two-years of full-time study.

"I chose the SCYC in particular because I received credit for the work I have already accomplished in the field of early childhood education. I currently work in the field of early childhood special education at a local child development centre. The trends that I am experiencing in the field require me to have a better understanding of how to relate to increasingly diverse families and communities. The BCYC affords me the opportunity to learn some applied skills that I can already apply in my current day-to-day work."

Kari Penner

Kari Penner