Study early childhood education (ECE)
QualificationNew Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Field-based) (Level 5)Programme code: NZ2851
Get the skills and knowledge necessary for becoming a proficient educator.
On completion of this programme you will be able to provide and support the education and care of infants, toddlers, and young children in a range of early childhood contexts.
Students learn about early childhood education and curriculum in Aotearoa, human development and learning, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Te Ao Māori, belonging and well-being and professional relationships.
Spend up to three days a week learning with a blend of classroom and online experiences and activities. You will also spend two days per week (12 hours) in an early childhood centre where you will apply classroom theory to practical scenarios.
In Semester 1 you will spend one week full time (35 hours) in your home centre. In Semester 2 you will also experience a three-week full-time (105 hours) placement in another early childhood setting. This placement will be organised by the School of Education Practicum co-ordinator. Get real experience working in an early childhood setting with four weeks of full-time placement.
On successful completion of the diploma programme, you will be eligible under specified criteria, to pathway into the second year of the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) (Level 7).
This programme has been developed to align with the first year of our Bachelor of Education (ECT) Degree. This programme does not lead to teacher registration, but it may provide opportunities for graduates, under specified criteria, to pathway into the second year of the degree. Students wanting to pathway to our Level 7 ECE initial teacher education qualification will need to; successfully complete this programme and meet all other entry criteria of the degree, including being interviewed and supplying new referee reports, and those who are EAL achieving Academic IELTS 7 in all bands.
Academic admission requirements
Applicants under 20 years of age: NCEA level 2 or equivalent
Entry over 20 years of age: Applicants who are 20 years of age at the commencement of the programme and have relevant life and/or work experience do not have to meet the minimum academic requirements (with the exception of English Language criteria).
To satisfy the risk assessment and safety check required in compliance with the Vulnerable Children Act (2014) the following requirements are in place:
- Provide a New Zealand Police Check (using the NZ Police and Vetting Consent to Disclosure of Information form) that demonstrates that the applicant has no criminal record and thus meets the requirements to work with at-risk and vulnerable children as required by the Vulnerable Children Act (2014)
- Interviews will be conducted in person. Skype or other electronic means as outlined in the Vulnerable Children Act (2014) will be used where distance is an issue
- Sign a statement agreeing to the release of pertinent information relevant to the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 that a Childcare centre may request
- Provide two satisfactory written referee reports
- Provide one photograph that meets the criteria defined by the New Zealand passport office: https://www.passports.govt.nz/Passport-Photo-Requirements
English language entry requirements
Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient competence in English language and literacy to undertake this programme.
- Applicants for whom English is not their first language (including International students) must demonstrate that they meet an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Academic version minimum score of 5.5 with nothing lower than 5.0 in all components.
- International students must further meet the English language requirements as specified by NZQA
Visit the IELTS test centre for more information.
Exempted case: EAL applicants who have completed the New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Professional/Academic) (Level 5) or achieved 10 literacy credits (5 reading and 5 writing) from the New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Academic) (Level 4).
Applicants who do not meet the IELTS requirement are able to re-apply for future intakes to the programme once this English language requirement has been met.
Special & discretionary admission
Any ākonga who is 20 years of age or older and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme is eligible for Special Admission. Te Pūkenga works with the ākonga to ensure they are prepared for their intended programme. Any ākonga who is not yet 20 years of age and has not reached the general admission requirements for their intended programme may be eligible for Discretionary Admission. In assessing whether to grant Discretionary Admission, the delegated authority focuses on the applicant’s level of preparedness for their intended programme.
You will complete your test in one day, plus get free online tuition to help you succeed. We offer paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS. Choose computer-delivered IELTS and get your results in 3-5 days.
Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?
Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.
You will need to complete the below five courses (120 credits):
922.501 Tikanga Māori and te Tiriti o Waitangi (20 credits)
Engage in early childhood education practices which reflect Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi and the place of Māori as tangata whenua.
902.538 Belonging, health and well-being (20 credits)
Provide a healthy, safe, and inclusive environment for the protection, care, wellbeing and education of children/mokopuna as guided by legislative and
regulatory requirements and children's rights (UNCROC).
922.540 Learning and development 0-6 (25 credits)
Apply knowledge of key early childhood teaching, learning and development theories and approaches, and historical influences, to inform and guide practice in Aotearoa New Zealand.
922.539 Early childhood curriculum in Aotearoa (25 credits)
Implement the philosophy, principles, and practices embodied in Te Whāriki, and supporting resources, to promote children's learning.
Use knowledge of philosophies, perspectives and contexts of early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand, including contemporary Māori and Pasifika education developments and implications for practice, to inform an emerging personal philosophy of practice.
922.541 Professional relationships (30 credits)
Communicate effectively and include cultural protocols, whanaungatanga, and manaakitanga concepts, to develop and maintain inclusive and collaborative relationships with a wide range of people in an early childhood education and care community. Manage personal wellbeing and engage in the personal, professional, ethical and reflective practices required of an early childhood educator. Support children's language, culture and identity, through the application of emerging knowledge of cultural competence, with consideration of diverse families and aspirations for their children's learning.
Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?
Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.
Further training or study
Graduates of this qualification will have the skills and knowledge to work in a range of early childhood contexts, such as centre-based, hospital-based (play specialist assistant), home-based, nanny, parent-led, or culturally-based contexts including Pasifika or Māori. Graduates may provide supervision or guidance of volunteers or other staff, in some early childhood settings. They may also be involved in voluntary roles in early childhood settings. For potential salaries visit careers.govt.nz.
*This programme does not lead to New Zealand Teacher Certification, to gain this you must have a level 7 teaching qualification.
“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 accepts 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.”
“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 do better in 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'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.”
"My experience at MIT has been really cool. The lecturers were helpful and supportive. My favourite thing about MIT would be the hands-on placements we did. I got to go into different centres and get proper work experience.
My advice to anyone looking to study would be just hang in there. It's worth it in the end, and you deserve it."
“Before I started studying I was working for Air New Zealand at the International Airport as a Load Foreman.
My wife chose MIT and encouraged me to apply after I missed out on being accepted by Auckland University. I love MIT because they have given me my second chance to help my family and give back to my community here in South Auckland.
MIT is unique and different because it is based in South Auckland. I love the free car park for students!
MIT will help in any way to get you where you want to go, it is very welcoming, and the staff are very friendly. It is a very hands-on experience which I love because we get to put theory into practice, from day one.
I want to help children have a better future in education.
Come and help, come and stay, come and belong!”
"I was on maternity leave after working at the same company for 11.5 years. I had always wanted to be a ‘great teacher' and as a migrant in this country, I wanted to learn more about this amazing Kiwi culture to embed it into my whānau and my life.
My friends encouraged me to study at MIT. The lecturers here are amazing. I have never met lecturers that are so enthusiastic. I love the ako in our classrooms and the diversity of our lecturers who bring fun, wisdom and knowledge to our classroom. The best part is the way they encourage student relationships with each other. I value my classmates and we are an amazing team together.
It is an eye-opening experience working alongside an Associate Teacher. Assisting and engaging with the Tamariki is the highlight of my week. If you want adventure in a classroom, excitement from engaging with the Tamariki, and linking your theory to your school-based learning, nothing beats that. I am already building lasting relationships with my principal, the teachers and the students.
I encourage you to come along and be a part of this great course.
Go for gold, it is the best place.
MIT will change your life."
"Being a teacher is something that I have always been inspired to be. It gives me an opportunity to give back and create a safe and nurturing space for all students – something I had missing in my early stages of growing up.
I chose the Primary Pasifika course because as a pākehā I have noticed there is not enough cultural awareness within schools, we need more of it. This course provides an opportunity for us to deepen and enrich our understanding and create a safe space for students to bring who they are into the classroom, and not leave their culture at home.
MIT provided the exact course I was looking for – ticked all the boxes and exceeded well above my expectations. This course provides a hands-on approach to learning. I know I will be a great teacher because of it.
What I also love is the community they have built and the ongoing support and encouragement they give to help us achieve, not because they have to, but because they want to. They support us every step of the way and treat us not just as a student but as part of their whānau. I can't think of any other place that would provide this much support.
We need more Primary Pasifika teachers; it does not matter where you come from if you have the opportunity to change a life and make a difference in this world for our tamariki, take it.
Be brave, be bold, our tamariki need you more then you realise.”
Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.
Information is correct as at 29 November 2023. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.