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Early Childhood Education - Special Needs

Credential: Ontario Graduate Certificate Program Code: 07901 Length: 2 semesters

Programs Starting Between:

To be eligible for admission, you must possess the following:

  • An Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma or degree or a diploma or degree in a related discipline such as psychology or family sociology. Minimum grade point average of 70 per cent required. Course work in child development and special needs is an asset.

All applicants whose first language is not English must meet Humber’s English Language Proficiency Policy.

Mature Applicants

An applicant is considered a mature applicant if they have not completed secondary school or other postsecondary school, and will be 19 or older (21 or older for degree programs) as of the first day of classes. Humber will invite you for testing to demonstrate that you meet program eligibility. Mature applicants for degree programs will be required to meet course requirements at the U level or equivalent.

College Transfer Applicants

An applicant is considered a college transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a college-level credential. Humber will use your college courses and grades to determine program eligibility. You may also be eligible for transfer credit if you are admitted to a Humber program.

University Transfer Applicants

An applicant is considered a university transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a university-level credential. Humber will use your university courses and grades to determine program eligibility. You may also be eligible for transfer credit if you are admitted to a Humber program.

Selection Includes Additional Requirements:

Admission is based on the academic criteria indicated and the result of the evaluation of additional requirements which may include a portfolio, audition, letter of intent, reference, etc. These vary by program. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee an offer of admission.

Post-Admission Requirements:

Once accepted into the program, students must be in good physical and mental health and meet the same physical and immunization requirements as those for the staff employed by the agency/facility where the practicum is taking place. Mandatory requirements expected for completion by placement deadlines include:

  • Immunization Record
  • Valid Standard First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for Children CPR (C) Certificates
  • Police Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Screen:

Successful completion of placement is a requirement for graduation from the program. Agencies that provide placement opportunities require you to have a clear Police Record Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS). Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency. If you register in the program without a clear PRCSVS and, as a result, are unable to participate in placement, you will not be able to graduate until the placement requirements of the program are met. Students will be expected to complete placement at another time at an additional cost to the student. The police record checks have to be renewed every six months or earlier depending upon placement requirements of each setting.

Required documents including immunizations, police record checks, standard first aid and CPR, and how to validate these requirements can be found in student support.

View Field Placement Requirements >

International Students: In addition to the requirements above, international students are encouraged to also visit the International Centre at Humber to review additional requirements for admission. One of these requirements is the completion of a co-op work permit. This permit is a requirement to start placement. International students should apply for this as soon as they receive their confirmation of acceptance/enrolment. Please contact the Early Childhood Education-Advanced Studies in Special Needs Program Assistant to obtain a letter required for the co-op work permit process.

International Student Permits & Visas >

Potential students must understand that a failure to meet the requirements may impede them from successful completion of their full program, and/or securing employment. Humber reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to refuse student access to children placed in its care.

Date Location Availability International Student Availability
September 2017NorthClosedCheck Availability >
September 2018NorthOpenNot Available

The 2017-2018 fee for 2 semesters was:

  • domestic: $6,072.62
  • international: $15,585.00

Fees are subject to change.

Additional Costs

Textbooks, resources and supplies - approximately $700 per year. Transportation costs to and from field placements are the student's responsibility.

Fees by Semester 


Humber offers a variety of scholarships each year.

Learn more >

Program Contact(s)

Joanne Tuck, program co-ordinator

416-675-6622 ext. 4339



International Students

Phone 1-416-675-5067

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Apply to Humber

Applications to Humber are made through Be sure to submit your application by the equal consideration deadline of February 1. You may apply after February 1, however, post-February 1 applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the availability of the space in the program. To check program availability refer to the Campus/Availability listing on Humber's program pages or

Admission Road Map >

Apply through Ontario Colleges >

International Students

If you’re an international student, you can apply directly to Humber via our International Centre.

Apply through the International Centre >

In order to continue with your application for Early Childhood Education – Advanced Studies in Special Needs, you must complete this step in the application process. Applicant selection is based on academic criteria and results of these additional requirements. This contains all the information you need to prepare and submit additional requirements for consideration. If you have any questions, please contact Admissions.

Additional Requirements

Applicants are required to submit a detailed resume and cover letter.

i. Resume and Cover Letter
Applicants must submit a detailed cover letter highlighting prior education and experience that relates to working with children/adults with special needs and their families. In addition, a detailed resume listing all relevant placement, volunteer, and employment experience including the duration of time spent at each, is needed.

Submission Instructions
Applicants must submit the resume and cover letter through SlideRoom. SlideRoom is a secure site where additional requirements are collected, scored and stored. Log-in to and create your free account. There will be additional instructions once your account has been created.

Applicants must meet both academic and additional requirements in order to meet minimum program eligibility. Meeting minimum eligibility does not guarantee an offer of admission.

All additional requirements will be evaluated and a score will be calculated by the academic school.

Admission decisions will be available via MyHumber, or by email and mail. Admission decisions will not be released by phone.

Fees by Semester

Semester 1Domestic FeeInternational Fee*
Mandatory Non-Tuition$450.45$450.45


Semester 2Domestic FeeInternational Fee*
Mandatory Non-Tuition$450.45$450.45

*Plus Mandatory Health Insurance fee once per academic year: Fall start - $420 Winter start - $280 Summer start - $140

Our Program

Humber’s Early Childhood Education – Special Needs graduate certificate program offers a unique opportunity to pursue an exciting and challenging career working with children with special needs and their families. Through our practical, skill-based curriculum, you will develop many valuable skills including how to:

  • consult and collaborate interprofessionally with a team of early childhood educators, professionals and families to facilitate inclusion
  • advocate and facilitate community outreach for children and their families
  • observe, assess and implement using a variety of tools and techniques that support children’s development
  • conduct independent research in a chosen area of interest
  • plan and deliver professional development activities
  • cultivate reflective practice skills for the purpose of self and professional development.
Courses Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, a graduate will:

  • Apply the principle of normalization and critically evaluate its implications to the field of special needs.

  • Develop and implement individualized program plans, which include long and short term goal setting, methodology, data collection, and evaluation.

  • Plan and implement developmentally appropriate activities to enhance large motor, fine motor, speech-language, social, emotional, cognitive, and self-help abilities from infancy to adulthood.

  • Demonstrate the ability to transfer the knowledge gained from theory in order to plan, implement and evaluate individualized program plans for home visits, classroom placements, and other field related practicum.

  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills in the daily interaction with families and allied professionals.

  • Outline the responsibilities a teacher has when working with a family with a child with special needs.

  • Demonstrate a professional and supportive role for parents of a child with special needs through assisting them to complete administrative tasks, communicate with professionals and by facilitating their involvement in special needs programs.

  • Research the legislation and possible funding sources available to people with special needs and their families and make appropriate suggestions.

  • Advocate and facilitate community outreach for children with special needs and their families.

  • Develop his or her own personal philosophical approach for teaching children with special needs utilizing a theoretical and practical foundation in assessment, program planning, implementation and evaluation.

  • Fulfil the role of the teacher in direct and indirect service delivery by assessing special needs, making referrals, analyzing assessment reports, planning individualized program plans and acting as a liaison between home, school and various agencies.

  • Develop a self-directed learning contract and independently conduct research on a chosen area of focus.


Work Placement

Students complete approximately 400 field placement hours assigned by faculty. During that time, students may be assigned a placement in community-based/government  services  and agencies such as a treatment centre, hospital, mental health agency, child-care centre or community association. You may have a full year placement which allows you to become fully immersed in the agency or a different placement each semester ensuring a variety of experiences.

International applicants are encouraged to visit to review additional requirements. Upon enrolment, international students are also required to obtain a co-op work permit in order to attend placement.

The Humber Experience

The Right Fit

You have some experience in the field of special needs and are passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families. You understand the importance of maintaining a high level of professionalism, time management and organization and your philosophy supports inclusive practice.

Student Testimonial

Rebecca Martin

Rebecca knew this was the right program for her. 

Student Testimonial

Deanna Flook

Deanna's most memorable experience during her time at Humber. 

The Humber Advantage

early childhood class setting of shelves with toys

early childhood class setting of shelves with toys

early childhood class setting of shelves with books

State-of-the-art Labs

The School of Health Sciences has the benefit of two on-site inclusive child care facilities for children birth to six years of age, a natural play space for children, and an ECE Resource Centre full of educational materials, books and equipment to be used for in-class assignments or field placement experiences.

Industry Partnerships

Our industry partners include programs for children with special needs and their families in both community-based/government services and agencies throughout Toronto, Peel, York, Halton and Durham regions.

Your Career

Early learning experiences help shape children’s development and set the stage for them to be healthy, happy, productive adults. Some economists estimate that for every $1 spent on programs for children, there is a $2 social and economic benefit to Canada. Children with physical, intellectual, social and emotional challenges benefit significantly from early intervention and inclusive programming. Graduates enter employment ready to collaboratively support children with special needs and their families, applying the extensive knowledge and skills gained in the program.

Our graduates work with children with special needs and their families in both community-based and government services and agencies, and have secured employment as resource consultants, early interventionists, early childhood resource teachers, teacher therapists, community consultants, resource support professionals, educational assistants, home support/respite work- ers, early years’ specialists, outreach workers, intensive behaviour interventionists, communicative assistants and infant development workers.

Every attempt is made to ensure that information contained in this website is current and accurate. Humber reserves the right to correct any error or omission, modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable or campus location at any time without prior notice or liability to users or any other Person.