Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
The "self-study" fast track for experienced Early Childhood Educators
Explore this page and discover how NSCECE can help you advance your career with this exciting program.
What does PLAR mean?
PLAR stands for "prior learning assessment and recognition." It's a way for experienced Early Childhood Educators to gain a Diploma quickly, by proving they have the skills to meet the requirements—while getting paid work experience at their jobs.
What are the advantages of the PLAR path?
PLAR is an accelerated path based on your past experience that drastically reduces the educational hours required to earn your Diploma and, in many cases, increases your rate of pay.
DO I QUALIFY?
What do I need to begin my shortcut to my Diploma?
- Have ECA or ECE Certificate
- Have 1 year of qualifying work experience
- Be working in a licensed child care center or pre-primary program
- Meet regular admissions requirements
- See our FAQ for specific details
What Our Students Say
"I really feel like a different person... I'm on a path that I clearly needed to be on to better myself mentally and really connect to who I am and as a result who I want to be as an educator. It's been a very emotional couple of months. Doing my BA I just plowed through to get through it. Now I am doing the assignments to figure out how I fit into the ECE world and how I want to support the children in my care."Ashley, PLAR Class of 2021
"I can only sing the praises for this course. I've had so many tears and maybe gained an extra stress wrinkle or two. It really has changed my life as an ECE. I really did think I was going in and changing lives but it has been the complete opposite, the children have changed mine. I can say this because I have a concrete foundation for my philosophy, and a very clear image of the child. I have to add with the most important thing of all, the understanding of how much I invest into building relationships with families."
How do I prove my "prior learning"?
To prove you have the skills and experience to meet the requirements of a course, you will compile documents you already have into a portfolio, which will be evaluated by your PLAR instructor at NSCECE.
Documents that prove prior learning include:
- Written or visual accounts of your experience working with children
- Presentations or planning documents you've made for your ECE job
- Certificates from professional development
- Reference letters from families, employers, colleagues, boards of directors
Most PLAR students have all the evidence they need to prove their "prior learning" before beginning to earn their Diploma.
Once enrolled in the program you'll organize your evidence to meet the requirements.
How do I complete PLAR's work experience requirements?
Unlike students on the traditional track, PLAR students only need to complete two rather than four Workplace Practicums. You might be eligible to complete these at your current workplace.
The other two practicums are done via PLAR (proving prior learning through a portfolio of collected documents, just like PLAR courses).
- 2 practicums at your work
- PAID while working
- 2 practicums self-study, gathering evidence for outcomes (done between first and fourth work practicums)