Accelerated (PLAR) Early Childhood Education Diploma

Together with the NSCC, the Department is pleased to announce additional spaces for staff with Entry Level, School Age Approval, or Level 1 Classifications to pursue an Accelerated (PLAR) Early Childhood Education Diploma while they work.

Status: not currently accepting applications.
  • EECD provides full funding for tuition, books, and student fees charged by the institution.
  • Earn your diploma in a shortened time frame of 16 – 21 months, depending on your experience.
  • A rigorous Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process allows you to be exempt from 50 - 75% of program requirements.
  • The program consists of online courses and workplace practicums so you can continue to work while studying.


To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

  • Hold an Entry Level or Level 1 Classification, or School-Age Training Approval issued by EECD
  • Be employed in Nova Scotia in a licensed child care or Pre-primary program on date of application to the program, working a minimum of 15 hours per week, and have the ability to complete practicums at your place of work
  • Provide written verification from your employer that
    • supports your participation in the program,
    • agrees to provide you a minimum of 15 hours of work per week for the duration of the program, and
    • commits to supporting you in workplace practicum experiences
  • Reside in Nova Scotia and have Canadian Citizenship or legal Permanent Resident status
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be out of school (not be currently enrolled in any formal post-secondary course or program at the time of application)
  • Have not have previously completed an ECE diploma 

To be eligible for admission to NSCC's PLAR Program, applicants must:

  • Have at least two years of work experience in a child care or Pre-primary program in Nova Scotia, equivalent to 1,080 hours or more per year (PLAR up to 75% of program requirements) 
  • Have a Canadian Language Benchmark minimum score of 8 or equivalent in all categories (if English is not your first language)

Students who were offered a funded seat in 2021-2022 and withdrew from the PLAR program are not eligible to apply for a funded seat in 2022-2023.


Application Process

Please ensure you have obtained all the required information prior to beginning your application. Incomplete, or partially complete applications will not be processed, and will require re-submission to be considered.

To apply to NSCC, applicants must:

For questions on application and admissions to the NSCC Accelerated ECE Diploma Program, please email: Alana Wiens, Academic Chair (email:


Applicants will be accepted on a first come first serve basis until enrollment is full.

  • When seats are filled, other applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will be added to a waitlist.
  • If a space becomes available, the next person on the waitlist will be contacted and invited to enroll at NSCC.
  • Those not meeting the eligibility criteria will also be notified by email.

For questions on eligibility to participate in the program, please contact:

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development