Certificate & Diploma Early Childhood Development and Family Studies


The Certificate and Diploma in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies are two new programmes derived from the B.Ed. in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies Programme.The certificate programme of study is conducted over one year of full-time study and comprises a total of 30 credits. For the diploma programme, the study will be conducted over 18 months full-time and comprises a total of 45 credits.

The Certificate in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies programme is designed to equip professionals with the foundation knowledge needed to work with young children and their families in diverse settings. The two programmes are designed to support individuals in developing their career pathways in the field of early childhood education and family studies. 

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Programme Aims

Introduce a body of knowledge that integrates theory and practice to meet the developmental needs of all young children.
Develop learners’ ability to maintain safe and healthy environments that best meet the requirements of current legislation relating to regional and national early childhood standards.
Provide learners with the necessary skills to support families with young children.
Cultivate an awareness of early childhood development sector policies, procedures and regulations.
Build learners’ ability to work effectively and build relationships with stakeholders in early childhood education.
Provide regional and national training and enhancement of skills for early childhood professionals.
Develop learners’ critical thinking skills and ability for effective functioning within the early childhood sector.


Who is this programme for?

Secondary/High school leavers interested in pursuing a career in early childhood education and family studies.
Individuals with a certificate in social work, psychology, pediatric nursing, children and youth studies.
Untrained individuals with at least one year’s experience working in an early childhood setting from diverse disciplines.

Individuals with degrees in another discipline seeking a change of career to early childhood and family studies


Programme Structure

 The design of the programme has been based on an assessment of regional   and international trends in relation to early childhood development and family studies. Courses are delivered online and students must have access to a computer and the Internet. Online orientation is conducted before the start of the programme.

In order to qualify for the award of the Certificate in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies, a student must complete 30 credits.  For the Diploma in Early Childhood Development and Family studies students will need to complete 45 credits. The table below shows the credits and levels for each qualification.


  Level  1

Level 2

Total Credits

Certificate in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies

30 credits


30 credits

Diploma in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies

30 credits

15 credits

45 credits








Students pursuing the certificate full-time may be able to complete the course in two (2) semesters over one year. For the diploma, full-time students may be able to complete the programme in three semesters.  Students may however, pursue these programmes part-time according to their capacity to manage their academic and professional responsibilities.


When will the programme start?

 Students may start this programme in August of the academic year.


Entry Requirements

 The programme is intended to cater to a wide range of people who work with young children and their families in a variety of settings across the region. In this regard, the programme is targeted at both experienced professionals and beginners to childhood and family studies. New entrants must meet the University’s normal matriculation requirements in order to be accepted into the programme.  They must satisfy the requirements in either (a) or (b) or (c) or (d) below:

(a) As entrants with CXC-CSEC and GCE qualifications having:

• An acceptable pass in CXC-CSEC Mathematics or its equivalent; AND

• An acceptable pass in CXC-CSEC English A; AND

• One of the following minimum qualifications:

○        Either five subjects (at least two GCE A Level or CAPE) and the remainder acceptable passes in CXC-CSEC or GCE O’ Level; OR

○        Four subjects (at least three GCE A Level or CAPE) and the fourth an acceptable pass in the CXC-CSEC or GCE O’ Level

• Grade requirements for CXC/CSEC subjects are General Proficiency, Grades I or II pre-1998 and         Grades I, II, or III from June 1998.

(b) Holders of five (5) CXC-CSEC or GCE O-Level passes or equivalent, not necessarily obtained at the same sitting.

(c) Entrants with a Certificate from UWI or another approved Caribbean tertiary level institution, having attained aB+ average or a minimum GPA of 2.5.

(d) Persons over the age of 21, who have been out of school for at least five years, on the basis, of their overall academic and professional attainments.   


English Language Proficiency Examination

The English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) is used to assess whether persons applying to pursue

undergraduate degree programmes at the UWI Open Campus possess a satisfactory level of writing

and reading proficiency in English for university academic purposes. For detailed information on the

ELPT, see English Language Proficiency Test.


Academic Preparation

 All courses in the programme will be offered online, blended or face-to-face. In the context of the UWI Open Campus, a fully online programme entails the following:

●      All materials provided by the Open Campus for the study of the course are made available online through the Open Campus’s learning management system, The Learning Exchange.

●      Most teaching-learning activities (with the exception of the practicum) are conducted inThe Learning Exchange.

●      Most assessment-related activities are conducted in The Learning Exchange.

●      In instances where students are required to engage in course-related activity off-line in the real-world environment, all output from such activity, in whatever format, must be submitted through The Learning Exchange.

Studying online is intended to facilitate active, interactive learning.  Thus, students registered for courses will be organised into groups. Each group will have a facilitators and the delivery of the entire course will be managed by the course coordinator.  Both the course coordinator and the group facilitator will be specialists in the field of study. The teaching and learning process online will be monitored, in order to ensure that it is being conducted in a manner that allows for meaningful learning on the part of the students. Learners and academic staff must have access to a computer with Internet access. Online orientation to the technology as well as the underlying philosophy of the programme will be conducted before the start of the programme.

Assessment Overview


Weighting (%)

Assignment 1


Assignment 2


Assignment 3






Open Campus Practicum Element

Research by the National Association for the Education of Young Children [NAEYC] shows that a key step in raising the quality of early childhood programmes is improving the preparation and support of early childhood teachers, and also acknowledging that teachers are the single most important factor in determining programme quality (1992). In light of this, the UWI OC Cert/Dip in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies offers a practicum experience at each level of the program. In order to achieve this, each country site, UWI 12+1, should have at least two (2) Early Childhood Centres and a supervisor to serve the early childhood student population in these territories. Presently, UWI OC has four (4) Demonstration centers located on the Mona (1), Trinidad (2) and Antigua (1) sites. Private and governmental institutions will be encouraged to form partnerships with the Open Campus for the creation of additional practicum placement places on condition that they meet the requirements below.

The above mentioned programme will have two practicums. Each practicum will be based on 100% work based assessment. Students will be assessed within their placement by an assigned supervisor(s). Table (2) below shows the weighting of each work based assessment. 


Practicum Assessment Overview


Work-Based  Assessment

Weighting (%)

1 (Assignment or observation)


2(Assignment or observation)


3(Assignment or observation)



Total= 100%


Course of Study



Level 1 (Certificate and Diploma Courses - 30 Credits)


Courses (Semester 1)


ECFS-1001-History & Philosophy of Early Childhood Development(3 credits)


ECFS1002-Child Growth and Development (3 credits) Pre-requisites=None

ECFS-1003- Health, Safety & Nutrition(3 credits)  Pre-requisites=None

FOUN1001- English for Academic PurposesPre-requisites=None

FOUN1XXX- Reflective Practice   Pre-requisites=None


Courses (Semester 2)


ECFS-1004- Understanding Behaviors (3 credits) Pre-requisites=None

ECFS-1006-Curriculum Development and Assessment in Early (3 credits)


FOUN1301- Law, Governance, Economy and Society(3 credits)

ECFS-1007-Practicum 1 (3 credits)

ECFS-1008-Child Rights & Protection Issues(3 credits) Pre-requisites=None


Level 2   (Diploma= 30 credits from Level 1 and 15 credits from Level 2)

Courses (Semester 1)


ECFS-2001- Diversity and Inclusion in Early Child Development (3 credits)


ECFS-2003- Practicum 2 (3 credits) Pre-requisites=Yes (Practicum 1)

ECFS-2007- Designing Inclusive Early Childhood setting

                     Pre-requisites= Yes (Diversity and Inclusion in Early Childhood Development)

ECFS-2008- Working with Families & Communities (3credits) Pre-requisites= None

ECFS-2009- Literacy, Numeracy and Science in Early Childhood (3 credits)

                   Pre-requisites= None