Shape the future and become an early childhood educator. Our programmes in early childhood education give you all the skills you need to develop into creative and resourceful educators, who can relate to all kinds of people in a wide range of settings from early learning centres to home-based care.
Field-based experience is a large component of our early childhood programmes. Each week you will spend time working or volunteering in a licenced early learning centre, or home-based care setting, where you can apply theory into practice.
These programmes lead to a variety of different opportunities from entry-level through to senior positions including:
- Education support worker
- Centre-based teacher aide
- Home-based educator
- Private home nanny.
Successful completion of the level 7 Bachelor of Education (ECT) is the only programme to lead to recognised qualified teacher status, and thereby graduates are able to apply for teacher certification with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.
“I want to become a qualified teacher, to have more knowledge to support children in early childhood, That's the purpose I wanted to pursue. Early childhood education is regarded as a key factor in a child's growth development and shaping their futures. I chose this course because I feel like I can make the world and society better for future generations.
The support from the teachers and my centre teachers to actively help me with this course, and help with assignments, has been the best part of my student journey at MIT. I feel like I have a lot of support, and without them, I couldn't reach where I am right now.
I'm originally from China, a lot of students studying are from different cultures and backgrounds. MIT accept everyone and they give everyone equal education, and I think that’s unique. There are not too many male students in the class, I feel really proud of myself to be one of them.”
Independently analysed Government data shows that MIT degree holders have the highest employment rates in the country five years after finishing their degrees. They can also expect to be among the best paid. Explore your study options and become one of MIT grads who earn more.
†View the full report at educationcentral.co.nz.
“We have early childhood programmes from level four to level seven, including a 6-month certificate, a one-year diploma, and a three-year bachelor of education. All are field-based, which means students are learning in centres as well as in our classrooms, - this is almost like doing a practical job interview. Centres can't wait to employ our students, so they often get snapped up and employed well before they finish.
What's beneficial about the suite of programmes we have in early childhood is, students who potentially haven't enjoyed school, or maybe didn't attain the required NCEA literacy credits or UE, there are still other pathways for them into the programmes. There are lots of alternate ways that we can assist students to help them pursue ECE.
So, if you're thinking of studying early childhood education, if you’re passionate about working with children, and if you're passionate about pursuing a career that leads to practical job skills, then MIT is the place for you. We have classes, you're not sitting in a lecture theatre with 100 other people. We want to personalise your learning journey. Part of that is getting to know you well, but also having the opportunity for you to know us too.
What I love about the school is a lot of our teachers are graduates of our program. I'm a graduate of the early childhood program. I came back here because I love this place. You really develop a sense of belonging here that this is your place. Many of the team have studied here, they're always researching, finding the best ways of teaching, engaging the community, making sure they are staying current and active as well as teaching subjects they are passionate about. I think that's a big drawcard for any student who would want to come to MIT because we want to be able to provide them with not only the best experience but the best teaching.”
Head of school - education
“I have a passion for working with children. I have worked with children for a while and I thought getting qualified would give me more knowledge and techniques to better my job. I also have children and this journey has really helped me to become a better person as well.
I thought MIT would be the best choice for me because I was close to home and it turns out it was the best choice that I made. The support is amazing. The lecturers are very approachable, the environment, the people that you work with, it's got a very family approach. I love it. The lecturers are always there when you need them. They're always there to guide you, nurture you, and send you in the right direction.
What I enjoyed the most here is getting to work together with my group, my peers, we get a lot of interaction. We help each other a lot. I didn't have that support before and I'm really glad that I have chosen MIT.
MIT is very hands-on, so when you finish here there's not much change or difference when you go into the workplace. You just fit in because you've already gained the knowledge and what is happening in the field because of what you've already done in the classroom. I just blend in with all the other qualified teachers, because that's what MIT has equipped me with. You will never be supported as much as this place.
This qualification will take me anywhere. My dream job is to become a tertiary lecturer. I know this qualification will take me there because of what I have learnt from the lecturers. They give me so much support, they give so much energy, and the knowledge is just impeccable. I know it will take me a long way, I have no doubt.”
“I've been working for MIT children educational centre for the past 8 years. MIT children's educational centre caters for children zero to five and we provide services for the students, MIT staff, and the local community.
As a centre, we work closely with MIT’s early childhood school and provide opportunities for the students to have their practicum in the centre. MIT students will gain work experience, we provide them with the opportunity to be confident and competent graduates. The students in the centre are working alongside the teachers and mentors. They get daily interaction with the children putting their knowledge and skills into practice, they learn from the classroom. MIT students bring lots of life, enjoyment and freshness. As well as bringing a cultural competence that comes with the local community, which is nice for the children to get that sense of belonging.
The benefits of getting a qualification in early childhood are huge. We know from research that early childhood education provides foundations for children’s learning in the future. So, it's very important to have a qualified teacher working alongside the children because that way we can provide them with the best opportunities to grow.
MIT provides opportunities for students that are different from the other institutes. They provide them with hands-on experience and that's why students are becoming confident qualified teachers. They can get in the industry and be competent teachers straight away.”
Children's education centre employee
“I work as the MIT Children Education Center Manager. The reason we choose MIT students for placement within our centre is that they bring a lot of knowledge and new ideas. It's not just us teaching them but learning from them as well. They're a really good asset for us.
Students get the real experience of being a teacher and we give students the exposure of how the ratios are maintained in the classroom and how teachers look after the children. Having a qualification makes you a very integral part of the team, it also brings you financial benefits as you get better pay rates, if you are skilled.
I would recommend MIT to study early childhood education because not only do you get the practical, written, or theoretical part of the education, but we also want these students to come into our system, in our centre. They have a good support system from their teachers, and from us.”
Children's education centre manager
Manukau Institute of Technology is committed to providing opportunities to a greater number in the community through blended learning programmes that allow students to balance work and study.
A story in the New Zealand Herald highlighted a shortage of qualified early childhood educators, noting that the early childhood council found 30 percent of childcare centres have unfilled vacancies for qualified teachers this month.
“Demand in Auckland is extremely high,” says Kylie Smith, Head of Education at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT). “Students in our diploma and degree programmes are typically employed before they have completed their studies.”
MIT’s school of education is in close contact with early childhood centres who want students to complete their practical training with them. Many of these placements become full-time jobs.
“I think one of the really special things about our program is the way that we combine both theoretical and practical hands-on learning. Our students come to class two days a week, and then spend 12 hours a week in an early childhood centre applying what they’re learning about in class, to their work with children.
Our bachelor of education has students from all walks of life who have been working in the field for many, many years, to students who've just finished high school. There's a wonderfully diverse mix of students here.
One of the things I think makes our programs really special are the relationships that we have with our students. We're really committed to their success, and we know them. So that means that when things get a little challenging as they sometimes do, we're here to help in any way that we can.
There's a real demand out there for qualified early childhood teachers so we have a lot of interest in our graduates and our graduates are very sought after within the sector.
Working in early childhood education is a dynamic and exciting career. I think one of the wonderful things about being an early childhood educator is that you get to work with children and their families, and also work collaboratively with other teachers, so you're always meeting new people and encountering new situations which makes it a very exciting career.
If you would like to inspire some young minds, come and study early childhood here at MIT.”
Dr Sarah Probine
MIT senior lecturer
“For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, so I could help young children. Studying early childhood teaching at MIT was a great choice. The lecturers were hugely supportive and the combination of practical experience and classroom environment suited how I learn. It also helped me form views on important education issues and my own teaching philosophy.
The results have been extremely rewarding. I now work at a kindergarten – a job I entered with the knowledge and confidence I needed, thanks to my course. My employer has said that like other MIT graduates they have employed, I stood out because of my knowledge, dedication, passion for teaching, and experience which gave me a practical edge. The future has so many possibilities, and I have several exciting ambitions I hope to fulfill.”
“My dream has always been to become qualified as an early childhood teacher and then own my own centre down the track. I love working with children and seeing them grow and develop into their own people, and I love being a part of that and helping them through their early life.
I have a learning disability and other places have turned me away or not been very supportive of it. So that's why I've come to MIT because they're understanding. I've had extra support if I’ve needed it. They don't just push you aside because you have a learning disability.
You should come and study at MIT because it’s so much fun. You get the interaction with your friends and you make lifelong friends, great lecturers that help you through everything, and great support. It's just a great atmosphere to be in.”
“I'm a stay-at-home mom of six children. I spent a lot of time in the education system with my own children and had the opportunity to come and do relieving at the centre where I work now. After working there for 18 months the other teachers there recommended that I become qualified, partly because it was better for my practice to have that knowledge because I could then cover qualified staff members as well.
Being at MIT doing this degree has really helped me. It's given me the confidence to pursue my practice and share my knowledge with others.
My biggest challenge that I had to overcome was probably time management. I still have children at home, our own business, and I still work. Fitting in study was quite challenging for me in the beginning, but the support from the lecturers and my classmates have made it a lot easier.
The thing that I've enjoyed the most about my journey with MIT is the relationships. I'm one of the oldest in my class, but that hasn't made any difference, everyone has been really supportive and encouraging, including the lecturers.
The flexible study options offered at MIT have been really invaluable. Being able to attend class but also do them online if need be, and being able to be in contact with the lecturers all the time.
I think the best thing about a career in early childhood is the children. I absolutely love working with them, they teach me something new every day. It's pretty hard to have a bad day when you're working with kids because they always make you laugh.”
“I chose MIT because of the experiences I had heard from my friends and family who studied there. They told me MIT is all about community and people coming together to help each other succeed to the best of their ability. And they were definitely right, MIT is not an institution but it’s more like a home where the people are like your family who will always be here to support you.”
“I chose early childhood education because I love being with children, and since I grew up with little siblings, it was enjoyable to spend my time with little kids and to see them grow.
I travel to MIT from Huntly because I really enjoy the environment here, and how the lecturers support me to achieve my goal of being qualified. MIT stands out because of the hands-on experience we get. The staff and lecturers here are very helpful and supportive.
I enjoy how MIT has set out our assessments as practicums, we go out on field-based hours which has encouraged me and given me the confidence to become an early childhood teacher.
The advice I would give to someone studying at MIT would be don't be nervous because you have a very supportive team at MIT to help you out.”
“I'm international, English is not my first language, but I don't feel like I'm an international student. I feel like I'm part of the rest of the students.
The teachers have helped me a lot. I love that MIT provides lots of theoretical knowledge and real work experience. I started as a volunteer at a centre and they saw my potential with the children, so they offered me a job. I'm working as a teacher and doing my MIT practicum at the same time. You see how it looks to be a full-time teacher, so it's amazing.
MIT is unique and different because of the environment, and the care of the teachers. The lecturers help us through everything that we do, and I love that. I love that we're family, we care about each other. That's the most amazing thing about MIT.
I've been able to have balance in my life, to be able to come to MIT to study because for two days a week we are in class, the other two days at the centre, and then one day I have time to work on my assessments.
I believe that the first years of a person life are the most important. I'm taking care of those few years for them to be great people in the future. I'm doing something for the community.
When I graduate, I want to be the manager of my own centre.”
Maria Paula Peralta
“I chose to study early childhood education because I've always had a passion for working with kids and now that my children are older, I have the chance to do it. I did the certificate in early childhood education when I was 19, and then I went and had my own children. I’ve come back to complete the degree.
I like that at MIT you do practicum and theory. Every week we're doing two days in the centre, which makes it easy to put what we're learning in class, into action in the centre.
All of the lecturers I feel like really care about us like they want to see us succeed. They're always there helping and doing everything that they can.
What I enjoy the most at MIT is being in the classroom environment, being with peers, bouncing ideas off each other, and talking about what was done in practicum. The relationships and the friendships that I've made while studying make MIT a really enjoyable place to study. We're just like a family here.
Once I finish my studies at MIT, I will be a qualified early childhood educator. Which will lead me to be able to work in any early childhood centre, possibly management and owning my own centre.
If you're considering studying early childhood at MIT, just do it.”
“I chose to study ECE because I love children and I've always known that I wanted to work with children from a really young age.
My family knew that I've always wanted to be a teacher so they have always supported me and encouraged me to pursue higher education. Even though I did leave school early from an accident at 16. My number one priority is to get an education and make sure that I can provide a better life for my family and the family that I will have in the future.
To anyone that has left school early, just know that you can pursue higher education, there are no limits on that, just believe in yourself and always strive for better. Just go for it and never let anything hold you back would be my advice to someone that wants to study at MIT.
I want to own my own centre – that is the end goal for me.”
“I chose early childhood because I really love working with children, and I wanted a job where I could really make a difference in people's lives.
What I really loved about studying here at MIT is that not only were we in class learning the theory, but we were taking it straight back into our centres and applying it to the work that we were doing every day. I think that has been so beneficial for me. I've been able to learn so much theory to back up my practice, to take it straight into my centre and apply it to working with the children.
The thing that I really found unique about MIT was the support that they offer, as well as the cultural perspectives that we get here at MIT. I've learned so much about not only myself and my culture, but many other cultures and how to incorporate that into my practice.
Our class sizes have been small enough that we have one-on-one time with our lecturers, but big enough that we are able to learn from each other. I love my placements, they've been so incredibly beneficial. I've been able to see different philosophies and practice from other early childhood teachers. I've been able to take so many skills from those experiences.
I've had such an amazing experience here and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've learnt so much about early childhood, myself, and I've gained lifelong friendships.”
The following programmes are available in this area of study: