Program_Early Childhood Education Leadership Development

Early Childhood Education Leadership Development Certificate

Develop the skills you need for a leadership position in childcare while working in your current role as an early learning and childcare professional. A combination of mentored online learning and immersive workplace experiences will help you reach your career goals.
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Next Start date:
1 Year
Full-Time Online

About the Early Childhood Education Leadership Development Certificate

Take the next step to advance your career while continuing to support children and families in your community. With this one-year certificate program, you have the opportunity to learn the skills you need for a leadership role in the early learning and childcare profession. This program is intended for professionals already employed in an early learning and childcare setting who want to advance in their careers.  

Most of the learning will happen right in your workplace, and you will be supported with mentored online learning and a valuable peer network. Online learning will include weekly Community of Practice sessions with your classmates, as well as assignments you will complete on your own time.  

Work-integrated Learning

In this program, 51% of your learning outcomes will be achieved on the job. You will tackle assignments and projects that relate directly to your current work experiences.  


Fall - Start Date: Sep 04, 2024
  • Application window:
  • Registration start date:
  • Fee payment deadline:
  • First day of classes:

NOTE: Important dates may change.  

Admission Requirements

Eligibility for admission to the Early Childhood Education Leadership Development program at Red Deer Polytechnic requires applicants to meet minimum requirements. Qualified applicants who meet all minimum requirements will be offered admission on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Academic Requirements  

Students applying to Early Childhood Education Leadership Development must hold an Early Learning and Child Care Diploma from a public post-secondary institution. 


Hold a recognized Early Learning and Child Care Certificate from a public post-secondary institution and be employed in a Leadership role in an organization compliant with the Early Learning and Child Care Act and Regulations.   

A combination of Alberta Government Level 2 or Level 3 certification equivalency and previous experience may be considered.

Additional Requirements

Technology Access Requirement

Instruction in this course happens mainly online. You’ll work on projects, submit assignments and connect with your instructor through an online platform. Students will require a computer or laptop and reliable internet access.   

Verification of Employment 
  • Must be employed for a minimum of 20 hours/week in an organization compliant with the Early Learning and Child Care Act and Regulations. 

  • Must be employed with current employer for a minimum of one year. 

  • Programs under Education Act and/or outreach agencies may be considered. 

Applicants will request a letter of verification of employment from their employer using this template. The letter will verify that you meet these additional requirements. If you hold the highest position in your program and do not have a direct supervisor or administration, you can complete the letter on your own behalf.  

English Language Proficiency

Applicants who declare English as a first language are exempt from ELP requirements. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) for admission to credit programs by providing official documentation to the Office of the Registrar at or by regular mail, after an online application has been submitted. All ELP tests must have been obtained within two years of the date their program starts. ELP requirements are in addition to the other admission requirements noted above.   

Prior Learning and Transfer

Foundational knowledge of the Early Learning and Child Care field is essential for this program. If you do not meet the standard admission requirements your education and experience will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Examples include a Level 2 equivalent with 10 years of experience running a preschool program, a Level 3 equivalent with 2 years of experience as a director of a daycare, or a Level 2 equivalent with 5 years of experience as an assistant director, etc.  

Program Cost

Estimated Tuition & Fees
Total Cost

These costs are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.       

NOTE: Additional fees apply. View here for a detailed, estimated breakdown of tuition, non-instructional mandatory fees, health and dental plan costs, and estimated textbooks and supplies costs.    

Program Content

Learn theory and practices associated with a leadership role in early learning and childcare. Courses will explore contemporary ideas of management, relationships, curriculum and pedagogy from the context of a leader. All students will complete the same eight courses.  

Graduation Requirements

Students must pass all courses in this program to receive the certificate.  

Continuing and Professional Education

Further your career by advancing your existing skills through flexible courses, micro-credentials and programs.