How to become a early childhood teacher in New Zealand

30 June 2023
How to become a early childhood teacher in New Zealand


Why become an early childhood teacher?

Early childhood teachers educate and care for young children in kindergartens, kōhanga reo or childcare centres. Kōhanga reo kaiako also help children learn te reo Māori and tikanga Māori (culture and customs).

If you love little people, you’ll love becomeing Early Childhood Education (ECE) teacher. You will need an understanding of core skills for the education and care of infants and young children - including having an understanding of Te Whariki, the NZ curriculum.

Alternative job titles

Kōhanga Reo Kaiako
Kindergarten Teacher
Montessori Teacher
Preschool Teacher


Understanding the best way to become a qualified early childhood teacher in New Zealand looks complicated but is easy. Here are the steps you need to take to start your career as an early childhood teacher.

Step 1

Choose and enrol with a registered training provider

Step 2

Complete in a level 3 certificate program

Step 3

Progress to level 4 and 5 certificate program



Average Pay

$42 - $75k per year



Length of training

39-60 weeks



Available Jobs


*TradeMe Jobs, April 2022

  • Skilled at communicating clearly with children and adults from a range of backgrounds and cultures

  • Organised, and good at solving problems quickly

  • Enthusiastic, open-minded and able to motivate children

  • Creative and adaptable

  • Able to work well under pressure

  • Firm and fair, with a sense of humour

  • Able to work well in a team

  • Committed to the kōhanga reo kaupapa (Māori language nest concept), if working in kōhanga reo.

  • Kindergartens

  • Education and care centres

  • Teacher-led home-based care agencies

  • Kōhanga reo.


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