NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care

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20 Weeks


NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care

The New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) helps students to develop a strong foundational grounding in the essential knowledge involved in the education and care of infants, toddlers, and young children.

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

This certificate is perfectly suited to school leavers or students looking to complete their NCEA levels while gaining skills towards a career qualification. Vision College offers small class sizes, and supportive staff, which creates a personal and productive learning environment.

The programme is delivered full-time by tutors as a set of unit standards, where classes are fun and interactive. Theory is delivered with a variety of teaching supports, such as textbooks, handouts, slide shows, computer-based video training, Canvas Learning Management System and direct lecture. The unit standards are delivered in an order designed to establish foundational knowledge.

Graduates can progress onto the NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5), go into work in an Early Childhood Centre under the supervision of a registered teacher. Many also choose to work as an Au Pair or nanny overseas. For Māori speakers, this qualification may provide entry into Nga Kohanga Reo and be useful for people seeking employment in community service organisations that work to enhance the lives of young children and their whanau and communities.

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

Call for next intake


Domestic Fees
FREE for 16-19 year olds, $2,195 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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Child Development

  • Infant and Toddler Care Practices
  • Child Development and Learning
  • Attachment Theories


  • ECE in the Wider Community
  • ECE Services and Philosophies
  • Relating to Children in an ECE Setting
  • Whanau, Families, Diversity, Communication

Health and Safety

  • Child Nutrition
  • First Aid for Young Children
  • Safety in an ECE Setting
  • Health and Well Being Practices

Professional Practice

  • Whakapapa
  • Powhiri Protocols and Roles
  • Ethics in ECE Practice
  • Professionalism in ECE


  • Te Whāriki
  • Play
  • Child Observation and Learning Plans
  • Tikanga Concepts in the ECE Setting

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

  • 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.
  • We would also like to have a 2-3 minute video with you talking about yourself, your family, your hobbies and why you want to come to New Zealand. Send as an attachment with your documents.

Course Videos


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 programme, 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.

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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