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


Entry requirements

To enrol in this programme you need to have NCEA Level 1, or equivalent, and be a minimum of 17 years of age at the start of the programme.

20 years old or over

If you are 20 years of age or over and do not hold the minimum entry requirements you will be eligible to be enrolled where your previous educational, work or life experience indicates you have a reasonable likelihood of success.


English language requirements

International students must also have an IELTS (Academic) score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5.0, or equivalent.

Students for who English or Māori is not their first language must also have an IELTS (Academic) score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5.0, or equivalent.


Enrolment process

As part of our enrolment process you need to:

  • complete the New Zealand Police Vetting Service Request and Consent form downloaded from the Open Polytechnic website
  • provide the name, email address and phone number of a person who knows you in a professional capacity and has agreed to provide a confidential report in support of your application. We can contact your referee by email or you can download a form on their behalf


Workplace component

For each course you need to do a practical workplace component and attend an early childhood setting for a minimum of four hours each week.

During the online enrolment application you need to provide confirmation of the early childhood education service that you will be doing your practical work in. 


Set texts

You need to purchase or download Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa, Early Childhood Curriculum when you study this programme. 

International students and domestic student living overseas

You can study this programme part-time if you're an international student living in New Zealand. You will need to be in paid employment with a valid work permit.

You cannot study this programme if you're an international student living overseas, or a New Zealand citizen living overseas.

This programme is print-based.

Learners receive:

  •  A printed learner guide
  •  Assessment workbooks
  •  An online course page.

The print material contains everything you need for the course. In addition, there is an online course page that you may choose to study from if you have internet access. It includes not only all the printed material, but also links to additional relevant material that will enhance your learning. We encourage you to submit your assessments online through the online course page.