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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
Otago Polytechnic logo

New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) and (Level 4)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


Otago Polytechnic


Educators are always in demand and teaching skills are highly transferable.

Working with children is a rewarding, fun, and diverse career and these certificates will prepare you for employment in the early childhood sector.

This Certificate is made up of two programmes - one at Level 3 and one at Level 4.

The Level 3 programme includes 60 hours of work placements and will help you gain the core skills and knowledge needed to participate in the education and care of infants, toddlers, and young children in entry-level carer roles in a range of early childhood contexts. It is worth 60 credits and takes 17 weeks full-time to complete. It starts in February each year.

The Level 4 programme includes 115 hours of work placements and will enable you to build on the skills and knowledge you developed at Level 3. You’ll learn how to practice as an inclusive educator, promoting diversity and the place of M?ori as tangata whenua. It's also worth 60 credits and takes 17 weeks full-time to complete. It starts in July each year.

Further study options

This programme will prepare you for a range of careers including:

Childcare Support Worker
Childcare Worker
Home-based Carer

With further training and qualifications, you could choose to become a:

Education Support Worker
Tertiary Teacher
Private Educator
Industry Educator
Staff Trainer

Entry criteria

Learners must be 17 years old.

For applicants over 20 years old, there are no academic entry requirements. In exceptional circumstances, an applicant under the age of 20 who does not meet the academic entry requirements may be granted entry to the programme where they supply evidence of their ability to succeed on the programme.

Students need to have achieved a secondary school qualification that is equivalent to New Zealand’s NCEA levels (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). Entry requirements vary from country to country.

IELTS test: General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5; TOEFL paper based test (PBT): Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE); TOEFL internet based test (IBT): Score of 35 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge english qualifications: B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill; Pearson test of english (ACADEMIC): PToE (Academic) score of 36; Language Certificate: B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill.

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