NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care

Apply Now


1 Year


NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care

This programme is designed for those currently working in the ECE sector who are looking to complete a higher-level qualification, those needing to upskill as home-based early childhood educators, those looking for a career change, and students who have completed a Level 3 ECE certificate wanting to move into higher levels of study. This programme equips students with the essential knowledge and skills to work in a range of roles within the early childhood sector.

This is a distance learning programme that is delivered online. Students are guided by unit standards, and workbooks are written specifically for home-based education and care. Learning can be self-paced, although students will work with our tutors and other learners through emails and online discussion groups to gain peer support and a sense of community. Theory is delivered online through slideshows, short videos, computer-based video training, webinars and online tutorials through the Cloud Campus Learning Management System (LMS). Practical learning is delivered in the form of exercises, simulated scenarios, and projects to be completed in paper format or online.

There is a practical workplace component that requires students to attend an early childhood setting for a minimum of 4 hours a week on average in either; a licensed early childhood centre, licensed home-based centre, or certified playgroup setting. Students are encouraged to practically apply their learning within their home-based practice or work placements as practical training.

Graduates of this programme will be able to operate as home-based educators, pathway into employment as ECE educators within a centre context, become ECE support workers or even volunteer workers within a range of ECE settings. Graduates may also pathway into further study towards qualifications such as the New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Level 5).

Click HERE to download the Application Booklet. This will give you a clear understanding of all of the required documents and the process to follow to enable you to enrol.

Scholarship Criteria

NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 4)


This programme is currently being offered FEES FREE when it is your first year of study* or you have money left on your Fees Free balance. Ask us for help or, to see if you are eligible, click here for details.

What the FEES FREE offer covers

The FEES FREE offer only applies to the programme’s tuition fee. It does not include provision of any textbooks or any other additional costs incurred by a student. These will remain the responsibility of the student.

*If you are not eligible for FEES FREE we have a limited number of scholarships available through Vision College. 

Note: Scholarships are only available to New Zealand and Australian Citizens, and New Zealand Permanent Residents.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply on the Scholarship Application form, which is available from the website:

Applications to be sent to National Administrator, Vision College, 21 Ruakura Road, Hamilton 3216 or email

Upcoming Intakes

3 Jun 2024
29 Jul 2024
30 Sep 2024


Domestic Fees

Fees listed are indicative only and may vary with course selection. Exact fees can be confirmed when you enquire or apply.

Enroll Now

Health and Safety

  • Demonstrate knowledge of how to provide a holistic and culturally inclusive early childhood education environment.
  • Apply holistic and culturally responsive strategies to enhance communication and relationships. within an ECE environment.
  • Apply strategies to manage own health, wellbeing and professional development as an ECE educator.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki and its application.
  • Describe the stages of learning development for pre-school children including the influence of environmental factors.
  • Describe relevant theory and practice of a child’s learning and development including language and literacy in an ECE service.

Diverse Cultures

  • Describe a range of ECE philosophies and cultural contexts in Aotearoa New Zealand, including the concept of inclusive education.
  • Describe and reflect on their own philosophy of professional practice in an Early Childhood Education setting.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of family diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand, and strategies that promote respect for cultural diversity in an ECE service.

Professional Responsibility

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi and Māori culture within an ECE setting.
  • Describe legislation, regulations and requirements relevant to ECE in New Zealand
  • Demonstrate knowledge of organisations relevant to the operation of an ECE service in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Learning and Development

  • Apply and evaluate strategies to guide and develop children’s behaviour within an ECE community, including social competence.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how to enhance the learning experience for a child in an ECE service.
  • Demonstrate observation implementation and evaluation of a child in an ECE setting, including developing a learning plan.

New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 4)

  • NCEA Level 1 is preferred but not essential.
  • Applicants may be required to complete an online literacy and numeracy test. If concerns are recognised, they may also be required to participate in an interview process.
  • Applicants will be required to provide the name of the ECE service or home-based provider organisation where they will be doing their practical work during the enrolment process.
  • Applicants will be required to produce two current character references and undergo a police check.

International Students:

  • Not available to international students.

Our Early Childhood Education programmes require you to bring your own device (BYOD) for study at Vision College.
Below are the minimum specifications required for this course, anything less than this will not open the programmes required.

Windows 10 Operating System (from January 2020 any Windows version less than 10 will not be able to connect to the ATC Vision College wireless network)
Intel Celeron
4GB of memory
320GB+ Hard Drive or 128GB+ Solid State Drive
Across our programmes we use Microsoft Windows based applications.

You will also be required to download Adobe Acrobat to complete assessment tasks and you will also be required to have access to a webcam to complete online activities.

Career Opportunities

Early Childhood Teacher - Kaiako Kōhungahunga

Early childhood teachers educate and care for young children in kindergartens, kōhanga reo or childcare centres. Kōhanga reo kaiako also help children learn te reo Māori and tikanga Māori (culture and customs).

Nanny/​Child Carer - Kaitiaki Tamariki

Nannies/child carers are responsible for the care, wellbeing and education of infants, toddlers and children in the home.

Teacher Aide - Kaiāwhina Kaiako

Teacher aides assist teachers in a classroom by working with students on a one-to-one basis, or in groups.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a practical workplace component in the programme requiring students to complete supervised practice in an early childhood setting for a minimum of 4 hours a week (on average) in one of the following types of New Zealand settings:

  • licensed early childhood centre
  • licensed home-based setting affiliated to a home-base service or nanny provider
  • certificated playgroup setting recognised for funding purposes by the Ministry of Education.

Home-based educators will be visited monthly by a registered teacher from their provider where observations can occur, and relevant guidance and support is provided.

Work placements will require the student to undergo police vetting consistent with the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Yes. The New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education (Level 4) is a distance Early Childhood Education Programme that is delivered online while you continue to work in the homebased childcare industry.

© Activate Training Centres 2024
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy