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Ako Kōhunga

Early Childhood Education

Utilise your skills in working with a diverse range of people and embark on a rewarding career providing a valuable community service. 

Qualified education and care professionals in the early childhood sector are important to the development of individuals and families in our community and they're in strong demand in New Zealand at all levels.

Our industry connections ensure that your study leads to employment and career opportunities. In addition, work placements will give you an insight into the industry and allow you to demonstrate your strengths while making employment connections.

Working with young children is a rewarding and empowering career; as a teacher of young children you're helping provide one of the most important services in education.

More children than ever are attending early childhood services, and in New Zealand we are lucky enough to have a diverse range of services that cater to the many needs of whanau/family.

Jobs in the early childhood education sector offer plenty of daily variety and job satisfaction. There are also excellent opportunities for career progression. As a graduate you can work as a non-qualified early childhood educator, a teacher aide, nanny or home-based carer. You can also go on to a degree in teaching and learning, which opens up opportunities to work as an ECE teacher, head teacher or a manager of an early childhood centre.

When you study early childhood education with us you'll benefit from our tutors' wealth of industry knowledge and connections. Our tutors are all qualified ECE teachers and are motivated and passionate about the sector.

Ara offers half-year programmes for both the Level 3 and Level 4 Certificates in Early Childhood Education and Care. The Level 3 programme is offered in the first half of the year and you can pathway into Level 4 in the second half of the year. A Level 5 diploma is offered full-time over one year. Both programmes include many enjoyable practical experiences and work placements.

Your study will be a mix of class-based learning and hands-on work experience in an ECE setting, which we’ll organise for you. This practical component will ensure you experience first-hand what it’s like to be part of a team of ECE teachers. It also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your strengths and make employment connections.

Please note: To be a fully qualified early childhood teacher you must have a degree qualification. However, the ratio of trained to untrained staff, currently 50:50 in some centres, means that our graduates are in a very good position to gain employment in an ECE service.