Quality early childhood education (ECE) is a vital first step to achieving equality and reducing disparity in our society. As an early childhood teacher, you'll be at the cutting edge of education, and will play a critical role in helping young children along a pathway of lifelong learning.

ECE in Aotearoa/New Zealand has a world-leading curriculum, Te Whāriki. All teachers use this in their teaching within a variety of ECE service types.

There is a broad range of ECE service types, some offering all-day education and some part-day sessions. They will also operate either full-time or part-time each week for children aged 0-5 years.

ECE services may be privately owned by an individual or company, or owned and operated by a community group. Both of these service types may either be part of an organisation for employees or as part of an association such as kindergartens.

Another feature of ECE services is that they may have a particular language and cultural focus such as kōhanga, Puna Reo and Aoga Amata, while others have a specific set of beliefs about teaching and learning, for example, Rudolph Steiner and Montessori.

There is also home-based education and care for groups of up to 4 children aged birth to 5 years in either the educator’s home or the child's home. Each educator must belong to an approved home-based service, which provides support through a coordinator who is a qualified and certificated ECE teacher.

In New Zealand, a qualified and registered primary teacher can be counted as a registered teacher in teacher-led ECE services, for funding purposes. To be a lead teacher in an ECE service, however, you must have an ECE-specific qualification. Click here to find out more.  

With a growing focus on the importance of early learning, there has never been a more exciting time to work in early childhood education.

Considering a career in ECE? Click here to learn more and explore your study options.

New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand