NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care

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1 Year


NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care

The New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) enables students to excel in a rewarding career educating and caring for infants and young children. Over the programme, students gain the skills and knowledge needed to work in a range of early childhood contexts, such as centre-based, hospital-based, home-based, nanny, parent-led, or culturally-based contexts including Pasifika or Māori. University Entrance is not required to enter this Diploma.

Throughout the year, we include over 200 hours of placement in an early childhood centre for students to learn hands-on and create connections for possible future employment.

Throughout this diploma, students will cover research, assessment and reflection skills, child development, learning and teaching, professional practice, culture and community, and teaching in Aotearoa.

Classes are fun and interactive, with up to 200 hours of placement in an early childhood centre that gives students the opportunity to work alongside children and qualified early childhood teachers to integrate their learning in relation to everyday teaching experiences.

This diploma acts as the first year of the Bachelor of Teaching Degree. As this degree is mostly online-based, students can work in an early childhood centre while they complete their studies. They will also be able to write their assignments based on real application in an early childhood centre.

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.

*Note: Students must meet the entry requirements and English levels of these institutions in order to be accepted on this pathway.

Available Campuses: Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch 

Upcoming Intakes

26 Feb 2024
26 Feb 2024
14 Oct 2024


Domestic Fees

International Fees *
Tuition $18000, Admin fee (non refundable) $500, Insurance $510 (subject to change), Homestay (optional) $12920 ($340 pw x 38 wks), Homestay placement fee $12920

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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Research, Assessment and Reflection

  • Gain an understanding of research methods for gathering information about children to enable planning of teaching strategies to support children’s learning and development including tikanga Māori

Child Development

  • Gain an understanding of key theories of early childhood learning and development including Māori and Pasifika and the significance of the first 1,000 days of life on brain development.

Learning and Teaching

  • Gain a pedagogy that encourages inclusivity and belonging within an early childhood setting and gain an understanding of how to implement the principles of Te Whāriki and the action plan for Pasifika education.

Professional Practice

  • Develop a personal philosophy of practice for early childhood education and care including reflective practice, while understanding the key regulatory requirements in an early childhood setting.

Culture and Community

  • Gain an understanding of how young children learn and develop within a social and cultural context, considering inclusivity of diverse families and cultures and identify a range of early childhood service types in New Zealand.

Teaching in Aotearoa

  • Understand Māori as tangata whenua and Te Tiriti ō Waitangi, understanding local hapu, key protocols and the application of whanaungatanga, and manaakitanga concepts to encourage inclusion and relationship building.

New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5)

  • NCEA Level 2 is required for students aged 16-19 (NCEA is not required for students 20+).
  • Applicants will be required to attend an interview, where they will be required to complete a short written task.
  • Applicants will be required to produce two current character references and undergo a police check

Provisional Entry:

  • Provisional Entry may be granted to domestic applicants who do not meet the criteria above, but present evidence of ability to succeed and are able to show they are well prepared to study the programme.

International Students:

  • International students for whom English is a second language must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score 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 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.

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

Yes, for this programme you will receive course related cost. You can apply to Studylink for support with this.

Yes, ECE classes (Level 5) are on-campus Monday to Wednesday, 9:00 – 14:30. Thursday’s and Friday’s are seen as self-directed.

Yes, the level 5 ECE course has two placements with a total of 7 weeks spend in a Early Childhood centre.

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