Certificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4)

Qualification code OP4310

If you have experience in the care and education of young children, this 40 credit, two course programme will enable you to gain formal recognition for your skills and progress your ECE career. You will learn how to educate and care for infants and young children in home-based settings, education and care centres and play groups within New Zealand. You will also need to volunteer or work within a licenced ECE service for six hours per week.

Qualification update

New Students

OP4310 Certificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4) will close to new student enrolments on 30 January 2019 (Block 2), and will be replaced with NZ2850 New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 4), which will open for enrolments in February 2019. Please note to be awarded OP4310 Certificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4) you will need to successfully complete both courses that make up this programme before 28 February 2020.
If you need help with a study plan or have any questions, please email us.

If you wish to register your interest in the new, New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care, Level 4 (NZ2850) programme instead, please complete our expressions of interest form .

Expressions of interest form

Current Students

If you were already enrolled in OP4310 Certificate in Early Childhood Practice (Level 4) prior to 30 January 2019, you can continue to enrol in your second course as normal to complete your qualification.
To complete the programme before it closes completely to all students on 28 February 2020, you need to enrol in your last course by May (Block 6) 2019 to give you time to successfully complete both courses and be awarded the qualification. If you need help with a study plan to complete your certificate in this timeframe, please email us.

  • Level 4  
    Credits 40 
  • Workload

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

  • Study type Open  
  • Cost $944 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 have successfully completed 4301 Early childhood Context and 4302 Early Childhood Professional Practice you will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • understand the history, goals, structure and philosophy of Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mo ngāmokopuna o Aotearoa: Early childhood curriculum, early childhood services and licensing criteria.
  • understand environments (interpersonal, temporal and physical) which support and nurture children’s learning and development.
  • facilitate positive, reciprocal relationships with children, parents and whānau.
  • understand the principles underpinning effective partnership, the importance of Māori as tangata whenua and inclusive practice.
  • demonstrate the professional and ethical behaviours expected of an early childhood professional.

Career opportunities

This qualification will prepare you for a career as an educator within the home or alongside fully trained and registered teachers in education and care centres. You may also be able to work as a nanny, an educator in hospital based services, or as a certificated playgroup coordinator. For Māori speakers this qualification may also provide entry into puna reo or other language immersion settings. The qualification is also useful if you would like to work in community service organisations that work to improve the lives of young children and their families.

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

For each course there are two assessments which cover four modules of learning. When your enrolment is confirmed you will be able to log in to My Open Polytechnic to view the assessment due dates. You must submit your assignments by these due dates.

Information about assessment

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