Early Childhood Care and Education is a pivotal building block of an inclusive, healthy and equitable society.

Students playing at table

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) at CapU

Capilano University is B.C.'s largest Early Childhood Care and Education program focusing exclusively on the early years of 0-5. We prepare graduates with the skillsets and mindsets to optimize the education of young children and support diverse and complex families to thrive.

Our Lab School integrates research, practice, and care, offering experiential learning opportunities that bring knowledge to life for undergraduate students, light the path toward meaningful, in-demand careers and generate a talent pipeline for early learning professionals across Canada.

Our graduates can be found making meaningful contributions in careers such as Early Childhood Educators, Teachers, Occupational Therapists, Counsellors, Child Life Therapists, Early Learning Program Managers and Administrators, Government Policy Analysts, Post-Secondary Instructors, and Tenured Research Faculty at top-tier Universities.

Our ECCE programming focuses on honouring the Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. CapU partners with BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS) and Métis Nation BC to recruit and retain First Nations, Métis, and Inuit scholars and students. 5% of CapU ECCE students and 15% of children at CapU Children's Centre self-identify as Indigenous.

Learn more about CapU's ECCE programs and admissions at School of Education & Childhood Studies.

Fast facts


ECCE students enrolled in degree, diploma & certificate programs


of CapU ECCE students are women


of CapU ECCE students are newcomers to Canada

“Capilano University’s ECCE Degree Program was life changing for me. It challenged my assumptions and helped me see beyond the status quo. The pedagogies learned become lived knowledge, cultivated together with faculty mentors and fellow ECE’s, and continue to guide my leadership practice to this day.”
Karen Vaughan, Director, Child Care Services, UBC

ECCE Research at CapU

CapU seeks to advance early learning pedagogy across Canada, creating environments where young children optimize their disposition for learning, orientation to justice, connection to place, and deep respect for the planet and its limited resources.

  • 2019: CapU was selected to partner with Western University in the development of the Early Childhood Pedagogy Network (ECPN), leading the development of a unified early learning system aligned with BC's Early Learning Framework
  • Current National partnerships with Western and York Universities
  • CapU's annual North Shore Early Years Conference engages 300 participants across North America.

The complex challenges of our modern world cannot be overcome through the educational approaches of the past. Our research aims to address three fundamental questions:

  • How do we create classrooms where children are attuned to others, where they learn to embrace complex challenges and think through them together?
  • How do we create educators who are intentional in making space for children to become ethical citizens, and who can walk alongside the most complex of families?
  • How do we support young children who will champion social justice and build an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable world?
Adult crafting with child
“The Centre’s legacy will be to create future citizens with the virtues and skills to create liveable worlds.”
Kathleen Kummen, Chair, School of Education and Childhood Studies

Early Learning & Childcare

Investment in high quality early learning and childcare benefits us all:

  • Diversification of the workforce stimulates economic activity, reduces gender income inequality, lessens intergenerational poverty, and leads to healthier families and stronger communities.
  • Participation in early learning levels the playing field for all children, leading to improved readiness for school entry and better outcomes in language, cognitive, social-emotional learning, and physical scales.
  • Children develop a framework for ethical decision-making and are attuned to social justice, sustainability, and inclusivity.

Opened in 1973, CapU's celebrated not-for-profit Children's Centre reflects the North Shore's diversity. With priority given to the children of CapU students, the Centre enables them to complete their studies and start meaningful careers to support their families.

The Centre welcomes many newcomers to Canada, children of visible minorities, and children who identify as Indigenous. At any given time, up to 10 languages are spoken in the Centre, facilitating language learning and helping children to feel safe and welcome.

Childcare in a University setting offers much more than a safe place for a child – it integrates the family into a caring community with access to education, financial assistance, career and other counselling, and holistic student & family supports.

CapU's Children's Centre is a trusted partner of North Shore Supported Child Development, BC Centre for Ability and Vancouver Coastal Health, offering care for children with diverse abilities.

Learn more about CapU's Children's Centre and admissions at the Childcare Centre

Students drawing at table
“As a single, working parent, knowing my son was safe and well-cared for at the CapU Children’s Centre helped me ‘stay the course’ in my studies and build a future for us both. Years later, my daughter also attended, which enabled my husband to complete his studies at CapU. The Centre helped our entire family reach our full potential. Today, my son is studying at CapU and things have come full circle.”
Emily Walmsley, Senior Product Manager, Canadian Western Bank

Related links

Project updates

Find the latest updates and detailed information about the project.

Make a donation

Your donation will support our plans for a new Centre for Childhood Studies.

CapU Children's Centre

Capilano University's Children's Centre offers childcare for infants, toddlers and 3-to-5-year-olds.

School of Education & Childhood Studies

Our School of Education & Childhood Studies programs offer current theory, research and practice.


Have questions?

Capilano University Foundation

Kari Wharton
604 984 4983
604 984 1758 (fax)
Birch Building, room BR449

Charitable Business Number 11883 7756 RR0001