New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3)

Qualification code NZ2849

If you are interested in working with infants, toddlers or young children the New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 3 may be right for you. If you have NCEA Level 1 or equivalent this is a great way to start your ECE career. You will study three courses and volunteer or work in a licensed ECE service for 4 hours a week.

For more information request a brochure to be sent to you. If you have any questions please contact us.


Download brochure
New Zealand Certificate in ECE Care Level 3 (418 KB PDF)

  • Level 3  
    Credits 60 
  • Workload

    For each credit, allow about 10 hours of study. This may be higher near assessment due dates.

  • Study type Open  
  • Cost $1,455 NZ Domestic

    Approximate cost for the full qualification based on 2018 fee information, not including annual administration fees, fee increases, textbooks, course materials or external exam fees.

  • Student loan

    Eligible for student loans, if you meet the criteria. Student loans and eligibility

For information about selecting courses to study towards this qualification, check out the Choose courses tab.

What you will learn

When you achieve this qualification you will be able to:

  • contribute to an environment that provides for the health, safety and holistic wellbeing of infants, toddlers and young children in compliance with early childhood regulations and legislative requirements 
  • use introductory knowledge of children’s learning of development, and the bicultural nature of the New Zealand early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki in developing your own culturally responsive practice for working with young children 
  • develop and maintain respectful relationships with children, families, whānau and colleagues through the use of a range of communication strategies and social and cultural connectedness within an early childhood education and care setting
  • demonstrate knowledge of, and reflect on professional behaviours and strategies to manage personal health and wellbeing in an early childhood setting. 
  • demonstrate knowledge of ethical responsibility in relation to own values and beliefs to guide practice in an early childhood setting know about community and government services that help in operation of an early childhood education and care setting
  • know about community and government services that help in operation of an early childhood education and care setting    
  • know about early childhood philosophies to inform your understanding of the diversity of early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • use basic te reo Māori and tikanga Māori within an early childhood setting and develop your awareness of Māori as tangata whenua 

Employment pathways

Graduates will be prepared to enter the early childhood education profession as home-based carers/educators, nannies, educators working in education and care centres in a permanent or relieving position working under supervision of fully qualified and certificated teachers; coordinators of certificated playgroups. For Māori speakers this qualification may provide entry into ngā kohanga reo. This qualification will also be useful for people seeking employment in community service organisations that work to enhance the lives of young children and their whānau, families and communities.

Academic pathways 

Graduates of this qualification will meet the entry requirements (subject to meeting to the selection criteria) for entry into the Level 4 OP4310 Certificate in Early Childhood Practice.

Key dates

Our open courses are open for enrolment every month. Each open course starts on the first Monday of the month you choose for enrolment. You must complete your study within the given start and end dates.

See key enrolment dates

Assessment and exam

Every course is assessed differently - some require assignments and others exams. Check the individual course pages for more information.

Information about assessment and exams

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