New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5)

Qualification code NZ2851

The New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care will enable you to excel in a rewarding career educating and caring for infants and young children.

You will gain the skills and knowledge to work in a range of early childhood contexts, such as centre-based, hospital-based, home-based, nanny, parent-led, or culturally-based contexts including Pasifika or Mäori.

You can study the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care full-time or part-time so you can keep working and living your life. The Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care is offered nationwide so you can study with us from wherever you are in New Zealand.


Need more info?


  • Level 5  
    Credits 120 
  • Workload

    Approximately 10-12 hours study per week for each 20 credit course. This may be higher at assessment or exam time.

  • Study type Trimester  
  • Cost $4,980 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.

When you achieve the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care you will know how to:

• Apply knowledge of key early childhood education, learning, and development theories and approaches to inform and guide practice in Aotearoa New Zealand

• Promote learning by implementing the philosophy, principles, and practices embodied in the bicultural New Zealand early childhood curriculum framework, Te Whäriki

• Provide a healthy, safe, and inclusive environment for the care, and education of diverse learners

• Communicate effectively to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with a wide range of people in an early childhood education and care community

• Engage in reflective practice in an early childhood setting

• Apply professional standards, legal requirements, and ethical principles in a socially and culturally responsive manner to guide and support practice in an early childhood setting

• Engage in bicultural ECE practice which reflects an understanding of the principles inherent in te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi and the place of Mäori as tangata whenua

• Use knowledge of the history of early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand to inform a developing personal philosophy of early childhood education practice

• Practice in a culturally responsive manner that is informed by children’s language, culture and identity

Blended learning

The programme is delivered using a mix of teaching and learning approaches. You will be provided with paper-based course resources and will also have access to these online. Face-to-face contact with your lecturers and other students will occur at the Orientation (65000) and Tangata Whenua (65103) workshops, at tutorials and during your teaching experience (practicum) in the Professional Practice and Pedagogy (65105) course.


Workshops will be held in central regional locations including Northland, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, and Tauranga, Wellington, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin. You will attend 4 mandatory workshops during the entire programme, one of which is an orientation workshop of two days.


Tutorials are held locally every trimester that give you the opportunity to explore your learning with the personalised support of regional lecturers and this learning can be further explored with other students in online group forums.


During the Professional Practice and Pedagogy (65105) course you will gain teaching experience through a five-week practicum at an approved licensed Early Childhood Centre. This offers you the opportunity to work alongside children and qualified early childhood teachers to integrate your learning in relation to everyday teaching experiences. During your placement, you are required to actively participate for 35 hours a week in the routines of the early childhood centre.

Key dates

The degree is run on a trimester basis, with two intakes per year.

Trimester 1, 2019

14 September 2018 - Enrolment Applications Open

6 January 2019 - Applications for 2019 new admissions to programme close

Mid September 2018 - 6 January 2019 - New admission applications shortlisted

November/Early December 2018- mid January 2019 - New admission applicants interviewed

5 February 2019 - Re-Enrolment Applications Close for Trimester 1

18 February 2019 - Trimester 1 officially begins

17 March 2019 - Last day for withdrawing (with refund)

19 May 2019 - Last day for withdrawing (no refund)

23 June 2019 - Trimester 1 officially ends

Trimester 2, 2019

7 June 2019 - Applications for 2019 new admissions to programme close

Mid June 2019 - New admission applications shortlisted

Late June 2019 - New admission applicants interviewed

24 June 2019 - Re-Enrolment Applications Close for Trimester 2

8 July 2019 - Trimester 2 officially begins

4 August 2019 - Last day for withdrawing (with refund)

6 October 2019 - Last day for withdrawing (no refund)

10 November 2019 - Trimester 2 officially ends 

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

Related qualifications