Course Overview

Thinking about becoming an early childhood educator?

This one-year course sets you up with the introductory skills to begin a career in early childhood education (ECE). You could become a non-registered educator in an early childhood setting, a home-based carer, or a nanny.

You find out how to enhance young children’s physical, social, cultural and educational development. You learn about the principles of the national early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, and how to incorporate these into teaching and learning.

As part of the course you spend time on placement at an early childhood centre supervised by a registered teacher. We find the placements for you!

This course makes up the first year of our Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education. By enrolling in the diploma first, you can see if teaching is for you. If you’re ready for higher-level study by the end of the course, you can then apply to move into the degree for the remaining two years.

Upon successfully completing the requirements you'll receive the award of:

  • New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5)
Locations Tauranga, Whakatāne
Next intake Jul 2024 View more details
Study options

1 year full-time, including holidays (if applicable)

Part-time study available

Total credits 120
StudyLink assistance Available
Indicative Fees $6,846 for domestic students View full fees information
Eligibility View entry criteria

To see the information for international students change your location using the button at the top right of the screen.

Career opportunities

Early childhood educator in a range of early childhood contexts such as:

  • centre-based
  • hospital-based (play specialist assistant)
  • home-based
  • parent-led
  • as a nanny
  • culturally-based

Topics you'll cover

  • Ritenga  Mātanga Tuatahi:  Professional  Practice 1
  • Tauwhitiwhiti mō ngā kaiako kōhungahunga: Communication for ECE Teachers
  • Tīmatanga Marautanga: Introduction to Curriculum
  • Ngā Kōhungahunga: Infants and Toddlers
  • Ngā Rereketanga-Ahurea: Diversity
  • Te Reo me ōna Piringa: Language and Literacy
  • Ritenga  Mātanga Tuarua: Professional Practice 2
  • Te Puawai

Course Fees

Indicative Fees * $6,846 for domestic students

* Important fee information, and hints and tips

Help with fees

Are you Eligible for Free Fees?

There are several ways to take advantage of free study at Toi Ohomai. Find out how on our Fees Free FAQ page.

Student Loans and Allowances

This course meets the requirements for student allowance and student loan applications through StudyLink.

  • A student loan helps to pay for your course fees (the compulsory fees), study materials e.g. books, equipment, and living costs. You'll have to pay this money back.
  • A student allowance is a weekly payment that can help with your living expenses while you're studying. You don't have to pay the money back.

Find out more and apply at


Scholarships are one way you might be able to get some financial help. Any scholarships specifically related to this course are shown below, otherwise check out the full list of scholarships promoted by Toi Ohomai.

Course Entry Information

Entry criteria

If you are under 20 years of age or an international students you must have:

  • NCEA Level 2 with passes in English/Te Reo Māori, OR
  • New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3), OR
  • New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 4), OR
  • evidence of ability to meet academic requirements.

Standard Entry Criteria

Admission, entry, selection, and enrolment into programmes will be in accordance with the Academic Regulations and/or, where approved, specific programme regulations.

Other Considerations


  • Two satisfactory character references are required which address the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand Good Character and Fit to be a Teacher Policy 2007.
  • These should be from persons in positions of trust or responsibility such as an employer, pastor, kaumātua or kuia.
  • References from family, friends or work colleagues will not be accepted.
  • Due to the requirements of the placement component of the course, you will need to be 17 years or older at the time of course commencement

Police Vetting                  

  • You'll be required to provide a signed consent form which allows Toi Ohomai to check your record of convictions on entry, during and prior to completing the course.
  • You'll be accepted only after the Police check is satisfactorily completed.
  • ALL candidates with ANY convictions will be required to attend an interview with the Programme Manager or staff member from the Education teaching team and may be declined entry depending on the severity, recency, age at offending and pattern of offending.

English language requirements

IELTS academic score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 6.0

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Course Locations and Intake Information

Location Campus Start Date
Tauranga Windermere Campus 22 Jul 2024 Apply now
Whakatāne Whakatāne Campus 17 Feb 2025 Apply now

Study options

  • 1 year full-time, including holidays (if applicable)
  • Part-time study available

Important dates

View calendar of start dates and events

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Further Study Options

Courses Currently Under Development at Toi Ohomai, or Offered at Other Institutions

  • New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 6)
  • Bachelor of Education