What will I learn?

Interested in working with infants toddlers or young children? Study UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care.

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care will provide you with the opportunity pathway into a rewarding career caring for infants, toddlers and young children.

You'll gain skills to work in multicultural settings, and play a key role enhancing family and community relationships.

New study options available: We are offering weekend study options for this programme in Palmerston North, specifically for those in employment and the homecare early childhood education sector.

Work experience

As part of your studies you'll participate in 60 hours of practicum studies in an early childhood setting organised by UCOL.

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:

  • 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
  • Culture and Identity
  • Professional and Ethical Principles and Practices
  • Early Childhood Practicum

Study options

Full Time (19 weeks)

Tuition fees
NZ $10,250 for the entire course
Start date

25 July 2022


UCOL Horowhenua Campus

160 Oxford Street,



5510, New Zealand

Full Time (19 weeks)

Tuition fees
NZ $10,250 for the entire course
Start date

21 February 2022, 25 July 2022


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/National 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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