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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Unitec Institute of Technology
Unitec Institute of Technology logo

Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


Unitec Institute of Technology


In this practical, field-based programme, you will develop the skills required to become a competent, informed, and reflective early childhood teacher who is committed to young children and their learning and development.

You can earn while you learn, by working at least 12 hours a week in an early childhood centre from day one, plus spending 2 days a week on campus where you will learn to relate your teaching practice to theory. Teaching staff are always on hand to provide pastoral care, and there are also numerous student support services available on campus.

You will also experience a range of practicum placements at other early childhood centres for 16 weeks over three years. When you graduate, you'll be eligible to become a certified teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand.


  • Become a qualified early childhood teacher: you will be able to apply for teacher certification with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand;
  • Emphasis on teaching practice: work (paid or voluntary) in a licensed early childhood centre for at least 12 hours per week during the programme;
  • Experience teaching in a range of centres: each year you will also take part in a practicum, at an early childhood education centre for 37.5 hours per week;
  • Our graduates have had a 100% employment rate since 2014;
  • A focus on research: you will design an action research project in an area of interest, carry it out during your work experience, then reflect upon how it’s impacted on your practice;
  • A strong emphasis on matauranga Maori and the Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood curriculum document, Te Whariki, with a commitment to a bicultural and sociocultural learning approach;
  • Acknowledgement of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which prepares you to implement te reo Maori me ona tikanga Maori in your teaching practice.

Work Experience

You will complete at least 12 hours (paid or voluntary) work experience per week during term times. If you are not currently employed, we can help you locate an appropriate centre, which can be located close to your home if you’re not based in Auckland.


Year One: You will complete one 2-week practicum in your first term at the centre where you are on work experience. You will also complete one four-week practicum at the end of the year at another centre, chosen by Unitec in accordance with Teaching Council requirements.

Years Two and Three: You will complete one five-week practicum per year at two other centres, also chosen by Unitec in accordance with Teaching Council requirements.


  • Early childhood teacher
  • Head teacher in an early childhood setting
  • Home-based coordinator/educator
  • Manager in an early childhood education centre
  • Hospital play specialist
  • Nanny
  • Early year primary school teacher

Entry criteria

  • Be able to work for a minimum of 12 hours per week for the duration of the programme in a licensed early childhood centre;
  • police clearance (from home country)
  • consent to a NZ police vet check
  • two work references and interview required.

If you are under 20 years old:

  • In addition to the above requirements, you will need to have completed NCEA, Foundation Studies, a certificate, a diploma or equivalent.

English Language Requirements: IELTS – Academic score of 7.0.

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