NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care

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20 Weeks


NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care

Our NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) will help you to develop a strong foundational grounding in the essential knowledge involved in the education and care of infants, toddlers, and young children. This certificate is fees-free for those aged 16 to 19.

Throughout the 20 weeks, you will complete a minimum of 60 hours of placement time in an early childhood centre, giving you a real hands-on experience that will prepare you for a career in early childhood education and care.

Topics you will cover in this ECE course include: Child Development and Learning, Infant and Toddler Care, Attachment Theories, Ethics in Early Childhood Education Practice, Health and Wellbeing Practices, Safety in an ECE Setting, Communication, and Professional Practice.

This ECE certificate is perfectly suited to school leavers or students looking to gain credits towards their NCEA levels while gaining skills towards a career qualification. We offer small class sizes and supportive staff which creates a personal and productive learning environment.

Graduates can progress onto the NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5), go to work in an Early Childhood Centre, or many choose to work as an Au Pair or nanny overseas.

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

Available Campuses: Hamilton, Christchurch

Upcoming Intakes

26 Jul 2021
31 Jan 2022
26 Jul 2021
31 Jan 2022


Domestic Fees
FREE for 16-19 year olds, $2170 for students aged 20+

International Fees *

Fees listed are indicative only and may vary with course selection. Exact fees can be confirmed when you enquire or apply.
* International learners are required to pay additional costs to attend one of our courses or programmes. These additional costs include medical and travel insurance cover.

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  • The basic needs of children in an early childhood service, the ethics and legislation involved in an Early Childhood Education and care environment
  • How to provide a safe environment and safe practices in an ECE service that contributes to the health, nutrition, well-being and hygiene needs of infants, toddlers and young children
  • The framework of Te Whäriki: Early Childhood Curriculum and its relevance to children’s learning and development in an Early Childhood Education service
  • Child development and the cultural development of children’s own language
  • Attachment patterns and the significance of short term separation for young children in an Early Childhood Education service
  • The range and cultural diversity of ECE services and their influence on the provision of early childhood education. 

New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3)


Domestic Students:

  • For students aged 16+.
  • NCEA Level 1 is preferred but not essential.
  • Applicants will be asked to attend an interview, which may include a short written task.
  • Applicants will be required to produce two current character references and undergo a police check.

International Students:

  • International students for whom English is a second language must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.0 with no individual band lower than 5.0, or recognised equivalent test.

Course Videos


Our Early Childhood Programmes require you to bring your own device (BYOD) for study at Vision College.
Below are the minimum specifications required for this ECE 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 New Zealand wireless network)
Intel Celeron
4GB of memory
320GB+ Hard Drive or 128GB+ Solid State Drive
Across our programmes we use Microsoft Windows based applications.

Career Opportunities

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.

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).

Frequently Asked Questions

The hours for this Early Childhood Education course are 9am – 2.45pm Monday to Friday. We break for morning tea and for lunch during the day.

No. The Early Childhood Education courses is a face to face course where attendance is required. This helps tutors to best support the students in a friendly and supportive group learning environment.

Students make resources for children, learn fun play recipes eg. Playdough and slime.

Yes, the level 3 Early Childhood Education course has a placement that runs over 60 hours (2-3 weeks) in a Centre.

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