One of the defining features of early childhood education programs are the placement opportunities. Students are required to complete one or several field practicums, also known as placements. Placements take place mainly within child care centres but some alternative or specialty placements are also available. Placements allow students to translate classroom theory into real life practice under the guidance of experienced and supportive ECEs. Through hands on learning students are given the experience of what it truly means to work in the field and to interact with young children. Some of the most common requirements for students during their placements include curriculum planning, creating curriculum materials, family and community outreach, fostering observational skills, managing small and large groups of children and self-reflective practice. Placements are key to student’s successful completion of their program and should be approached with professionalism. Placements are often the place where students develop the practical skills they need for a career in ECEC, make their first connections to potential employers and identify what aspect of ECEC they enjoy the most and are best suited for.
Placement experiences are an opportunity for you to get hands on experience and to figure out what type of ECE work you enjoy most and are most suited to.