What will I learn?

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (In-work) is specifically designed for those already working with the Early Childhood Education and Care Sector.

This course is currently delivered through one night a week tutorials (2 hours approx.) and every 3rd Saturday (4 hours approx.) The delivery could be on your local campus or at your workplace/home-based office.

Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care will be able to:

  • understand key early childhood socio-cultural theories of learning and development to inform and guide the holistic development and learning of children in an early childhood setting;
  • use knowledge of multiculturalism, family diversity, and the bicultural nature of the New Zealand early childhood curriculum framework, Te Whariki, to plan, provide and review enriching learning experiences for infants, toddlers, and young children;
  • contribute to providing a culturally inclusive early childhood environment to foster the health, holistic well-being, and care of infants, toddlers, and young children;
  • communicate effectively and engage in respectful, reciprocal, and responsive relationships within an early childhood education and care community;
  • implement strategies to manage personal health, wellbeing, and professional development in an early childhood setting;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of legislation and regulatory requirements, and how community and government services impact on early childhood settings and guide practices, to protect and support the wellbeing of children and families;
  • understand the diverse philosophical and cultural contexts and approaches informing early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand to develop a personal philosophy of practice;
  • implement bicultural early childhood education practice and promote awareness of Maori as tangata whenua, through using te reo Maori and tikanga Maori with infants, toddlers, young children and families/whanau in early childhood settings.

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education L5 or Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Employment opportunities include working in a range of early childhood education settings as educators (teachers), Kaimahi, support workers, session leaders or organisers in parent-led services or playgroups including Pasifika and Maori.

Course Information

  • Learning and Development Theories (15 Credits)
  • Culture and Identity (15 Credits)
  • Professional and Ethical Principles and Practices (15 Credits)
  • Early Childhood Practicum (15 Credits) (60 practicum hours)

Study options

Online/Distance with attendance (19 weeks)

Tuition fees
Information not available
Start date

Subject to demand


Palmerston North Campus (Main Campus)

Universal College of Learning (UCOL),

18 Princess Street,

Palmerston North,

4422, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For international students

  • NCEA Level 2 OR
  • the New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) OR
  • equivalent academic achievement on a case-by-case basis; OR
  • at the discretion of the Executive Dean.

Students must authorise UCOL to obtain a background check from the New Zealand Police Licensing and Vetting Agency.

Applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent, including TOEFL) score of 5.5 with no band lower than 5. IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). The English proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes. TOEFL (iBT) score of 46 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge B2 First (for Schools), C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency: B2 with score of 162; no less than 154 in each skill; OET: Minimum Grade C or 200 in all subtests.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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