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NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


Christchurch Campus


The New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) enables students to excel in a rewarding career educating and caring for infants and young children. Over the programme, students gain the skills and knowledge needed to work in a range of early childhood contexts, such as centre-based, hospital-based, home-based, nanny, parent-led, or culturally-based contexts including Pasifika or Maori. University Entrance is not required to enter this Diploma.

Throughout the year, we include over 200 hours of placement in an early childhood centre for students to learn hands-on and create connections for possible future employment.

Throughout this diploma, students will cover research, assessment and reflection skills, child development, learning and teaching, professional practice, culture and community, and teaching in Aotearoa.

Classes are fun and interactive, with up to 200 hours of placement in an early childhood centre that gives students the opportunity to work alongside children and qualified early childhood teachers to integrate their learning in relation to everyday teaching experiences.

This diploma acts as the first year of the Bachelor of Teaching Degree. Following this diploma, students can apply for entry into year two of the degree with The Open Polytechnic, Te Rito Maioha or New Zealand Tertiary College (Students must meet the entry requirements and English levels of these institutions in order to be accepted on this pathway). As this degree is mostly online-based, students can work in an early childhood centre while they complete their studies. They will also be able to write their assignments based on real application in an early childhood centre.

Available Campuses: Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch


Research, Assessment and Reflection: Gain an understanding of research methods for gathering information about children to enable planning of teaching strategies to support children’s learning and development including tikanga Maori

Child Development: Gain an understanding of key theories of early childhood learning and development including Maori and Pasifika and the significance of the first 1,000 days of life on brain development.

Learning and Teaching: Gain a pedagogy that encourages inclusivity and belonging within an early childhood setting and gain an understanding of how to implement the principles of Te Whariki and the action plan for Pasifika education.

Professional Practice: Develop a personal philosophy of practice for early childhood education and care including reflective practice, while understanding the key regulatory requirements in an early childhood setting.

Culture and Community: Gain an understanding of how young children learn and develop within a social and cultural context, considering inclusivity of diverse families and cultures and identify a range of early childhood service types in New Zealand.

Teaching in Aotearoa: Understand Maori as tangata whenua and Te Tiriti ? Waitangi, understanding local hapu, key protocols and the application of whanaungatanga, and manaakitanga concepts to encourage inclusion and relationship building.


New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5)

Career Opportunities

  • Early Childhood Teacher
  • Nanny/Child Carer
  • Teacher Aide

Entry criteria

  • NCEA Level 2 is required for students aged 16-19 (NCEA is not required for students 20+).
  • Applicants will be required to attend an interview, where they will be required to complete a short written task.
  • Applicants will be required to produce two current character references and undergo a police check
  • International students for whom English is a second language must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5.0, or recognised equivalent test.

Provisional Entry:

  • Provisional Entry may be granted to domestic applicants who do not meet the criteria above, but present evidence of ability to succeed and are able to show they are well prepared to study the programme.

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