Nurturing Dreams: How English Upgrading opened doors for this Douglas student to pursue a career in early childhood education

By Angelica Largo, Marketing and Communications

When Inga Veclici immigrated to Canada from Moldova, she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming an early childhood educator. She decided to apply to the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at Douglas College. But there was one catch:  She didn’t meet the English proficiency requirements. 

Inga took an English assessment at Douglas and was advised to take English Upgrading (ENGU) courses to support her pathway into the ECE program. The ENGU courses are tuition-free and aim to enhance students’ reading and writing skills for success in their other college courses 

She says her instructors were game-changers. They demystified the complexities of the English language and taught her effective communication. She recalls one extraordinary instructor, Daniel Dunne, whose teaching style, marked by humour and personal anecdotes, made learning enjoyable and cultivated trust among her classmates.  

Now that Inga’s fulfilled the English proficiency requirements, she looks forward to continuing her education at Douglas in the ECE Special Needs – Inclusive Practices Certificate program this Fall. 

Nurturing curiosity

Inga’s interest in early childhood education was sparked during her daughter’s time in kindergarten, where she volunteered in a reading buddy program. This experience opened her eyes to the joy of interacting with children and nurturing their innate curiosity.  

“When I first started working with kids, I was inspired by the connection that they make with adults,” she says. “Children aren’t judgmental, they don’t care where you come from or how you look.” 

With the ECE Special Needs – Inclusive Practices Certificate, Inga will have the opportunity to explore her interest in working with children that have special needs and learn the best ways to support them in a child-care setting. 

Connecting with nature

When it comes to teaching young children, Inga believes in the importance of active learning through outdoor play.  She prefers to go outside and spend time in nature as it encourages curiosity and exploration in children.  

“Regardless of the weather, nature should be a part of a child’s education,” Inga says. “If it’s raining, we can bring nature into the classroom and relate activities to the subjects that we’re focusing on that day, whether it’s art, math or science.”  

Looking forward

In the future, Inga wants to venture into infant and toddler care and take the Early Childhood Education Infant/Toddler Certificate program at Douglas.  

Drawing from her experiences, Inga offers advice to current Douglas students pursuing the English Upgrading to Early Childhood Education pathway. She encourages seeking guidance from program advisors and emphasizes the significance of investing in education, as it has the power to transform aspirations into realities.  

“Through the English Upgrading program, I’ve learned that I can achieve anything I set my mind to,” she says. “This pathway has boosted my confidence in English and prepared me to pursue my dream of becoming an early childhood educator.” 

Interested in the Early Childhood Education program or English Upgrading at Douglas College? Visit our website to learn more: