National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5)

This course of study provides a qualification for you to begin a career in early childhood education (ECE) and will support you in any application for higher level study.

The programme provides a solid understanding of how educators can enhance young children’s physical, social, cultural and educational development.

You’ll learn how to incorporate the Te Whāriki curriculum into teaching and learning and also earn a first aid certificate.

The skills learnt equip graduates to work in early childhood centres, or pave the way towards higher tertiary study.

This programme also supports your application to the University of Waikato’s Bachelor in Teaching (Early Childhood) offered at the Windermere campus.

Content Details

This programme has eight courses:

Course 1 -Relationships and Communication
Understand the importance of forming strong functional relationships and communicating effectively with a diverse range of people. You‘ll acquire a broad knowledge of diverse families living in New Zealand/Aotearoa and be able to formulate strategies that help develop and maintain partnerships between families and the early childhood education (ECE) sector.

Course 2 - Community
Understand how communities play an important role in inclusive education for children and how community and government organisations work together within the ECE sector. Gain an in-depth understanding of current ECE related regulations across the board and how those legal requirements impact on individuals and ECE services alike.

Course 3 - Human Development
Develop a broad understanding of how human development theories can assist educators in practice. You’ll gain an understanding of how children grow, learn and develop, including how these factors are impacted by the kind of environments adults and children are exposed to.

Course 4 - Cultural Diversity
Learn about the cultural melting pot that is Aotearoa and have the tools to be able to support and enhance diversity within differing environments. Tangata whenua is recognised and further understood in general and in specific context of the holistic wellbeing of Māori children.

Course 5 - Best Practice
Strong professional practice is both desirable and necessary in an ECE setting. Develop your own expectations, philosophies and ethics, as well as identify and observe those belonging to others. You’ll also learn the importance of Te Whāriki in an early childhood setting.

Course 6 - Health and Safety
Health and safety of all those in an ECE setting is paramount. You’ll learn to identify and action strategies and techniques that ensure the safety and wellbeing of yourself, other adults and children in your care.

Course 7 - Understanding Children
Enhance your understanding of the ‘big picture’ in relation to child behaviour and become more equipped to guide even the most challenging of behaviours with the help of support agencies and within the boundaries of NZ law. Understand the importance of, and be able to implement, observation techniques within an ECE setting.

Course 8 - Working with Children
Gain knowledge of how play contributes positively to learning and development, and learn to create suitable resources. You’ll be able to demonstrate knowledge of effective programme planning in consideration of Te Whāriki and in accordance with age appropriate learning outcomes.


Planned intakes*: February
Delivery modes: Full-time
Locations*: Tauranga (Windermere Campus)
Duration: One year

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

The programme is 34 weeks with classes scheduled for approximately 30 hours per week, usually Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday with a tutorial on Thursday. You will also be required to undertake self-directed study beyond scheduled class time.

To see full details of the next available intake please visit the application form.

Indicative Fees

2018 domestic students $4,880.00

2018 international students $19,951.00

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You MAY be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Find out if your programme qualifies by visiting the Studylink website.

If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Qualifications Gained

Upon successful completion of the programme you will receive:

  • National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5)
  • First Aid Certificate

Career Opportunities

  • Nanny
  • Home-based carer
  • Teacher in an early childhood education and care centre while undergoing further training

Study Pathways

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Pathways

Bachelor of Teaching (BTchg) - Early Childhood

Entry Criteria

To gain entry into this programme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have NCEA Level 2
  • or have a National Certificate in Early Childhood Education & Care (Level 3)

Teachers' Council may require you to have University Entrance if you are under 20 at the time that you start an Early Childhood degree.

Police Check

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology will undertake a Police check on prospective students. Student entry will be provisional until these checks have been completed. Outcome of checks will be kept on record.

Special Admission

Students who do not satisfy the standard academic entry requirements of a programme will be considered for special admission if, in the opinion of the Programme Coordinator, they are capable of achieving the programme outcomes.

Information Meeting/Interview

We may require you to attend an information meeting prior to your acceptance onto the course. This is your opportunity to find out more about the course to see if it fits your career aspirations and for us to ensure you meet our entry requirements.


International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013. And below under the title English Competency.

English Competency

Level 5 certificate or diploma IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language L4 with the Academic Endorsement or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013.

For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language, evidence of language competency may be required.