New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) [Version 2]

Application, shortlisting and interview process

Spaces in the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) are limited. Application is subject to a submission process, which includes:

  • applicants submitting an online enrolment application form
  • shortlisting
  • interviews of shortlisted applicants
  • completion of a literacy and numeracy assessment set by Open Polytechnic. Applicants must pass both the literacy and numeracy assessment in order to be offered a place on the programme. Literacy and Numeracy Information Sheet

New learners need to apply five weeks before their preferred start date. Re-enrolling learners can follow the standard enrolment dates for this programme. Please see the table on the choose courses and apply tab for specific dates. 

Application information you need to provide

As part of the application form you need to give us the following information:

  • Whether you work or volunteer in a licensed early childhood setting (we recommend you do during your studies).
  • If you intend to study part-time or full-time.
  • If you have applied for a TeachNZ scholarship.
  • If you will apply for cross-credits.
  • What qualifications you have completed (other than at secondary school).

 You also need to provide us with:

  • Evidence of study. This may include academic transcripts, certificates, diplomas and/or degrees. You can upload this when you fill in the application form or post it to us.
  • Details of your current and previous employers over the last five years, paid and/or voluntary.
  • If you have a conviction for any offence, including traffic infringements, in any country.
  • Your interests, hobbies, or iwi and community responsibilities or involvement.
  • A recent colour photo of yourself.  (A good quality image (in JPG format) of your face and shoulders. Please ensure the image is a minimum of 500 KB and does not exceed 3 MB in size.)

 You also need to write 200-300 words on why you want to be an early childhood teacher and think you will be successful in the role.


You need to give us details of two people who know you in a professional capacity. They must have agreed to provide confidential reports in support of your application. You need to include their:

  • Name
  • Occupation
  • Email address
  • Phone number.

Your referees must not be close friends or relatives.

 If you don't have their email addresses, you can send them a link to the online version.


Police vetting

When you apply, you need complete a Vetting Request and Consent form. The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand requires us to undertake a police check on all students over the age of 17. This form authorises the New Zealand Police to share information about you with Open Polytechnic*. All information is confidential.

 When you return this form, you need to include two forms of identification. These must be verified by a trusted referee.

 You can download the form and details of how to complete and return it during the online enrolment process.

*Note – Early Childhood students have a role that predominantly involves the delivery of education to children. Therefore, pursuant to Section 16 of the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, criminal convictions will not be released IF the applicant is eligible for clean slate.


After you apply

After we get your application and all required documentation, we will get in touch to acknowledge receipt of your application.

 After the application close off date, we will let you know if your application has been shortlisted for an interview.