Diploma in Early Childhood Education: Tai Poutini Diploma in Early Childhood Education: Tai Poutini CREDIT: Tai Poutini Polytechnic

Diploma in Early Childhood Education now available on the Coast

Wednesday 3 November 2010, 1:54PM
By Tai Poutini Polytechnic


Tai Poutini Polytechnic and the New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education of Christchurch are making it count for nanny students who want to further their career with a Diploma in Teaching (ECE) now available on the West Coast.

Students who have successfully completed the one year NZ Certificate in Nanny Education will be eligible to apply to the New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education to enter stage two of the Diploma of Teaching (ECE) which they can study on the Coast as a field based programme. This requires the student to work at least 15 hours per week in a licensed early childhood centre.

The programme can also be studied on campus for students who want to move to Christchurch

The New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education* will review admission applications on a case-by-case basis. Students must have successfully completed Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s NZ Certificate in Nanny Education, which is the equivalent of Stage One of the Diploma of Teaching (ECE) delivered at the polytechnic.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic tutor Maureen Simpson says the affiliation will be a huge incentive for students to stay on the West Coast, “This arrangement between Tai Poutini Polytechnic and the New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education enables students to fast forward into a diploma of teaching (ECE) should they want to pursue further learning in this field. It is a fantastic opportunity for those who aren’t ready to leave the West Coast because now they can work and study on the field based programme of the Diploma of Teaching (ECE). The draw card is that we have some of the lowest fees in New Zealand making it a more affordable option too,” Simpson says

The polytechnic’s highly reputable New Zealand Certificate in Nanny Education is delivered at the Greymouth campus and teaches students specialized areas of early childhood education including child development, play, first aid, baby care and children’s health and nutrition. On completion, students receive their qualification enabling them to pursue several early childhood education options.

Programme advisory committee member and owner of the West Coast’s four Scenicland Pre-schools & Nursery schools, Lynette Ensor says she is very supportive of  this development which will enable students to study, stay on the West Coast and work in an early childhood centre. Often West Coast students leave for other New Zealand centres to train for their ECE qualification and they rarely return.

“We are designated as a hard to staff industry by the Government and so the more students we can have trained in this industry the better it is for the children, families and for centres such as ours. The West Coast is also designated a hard to staff area so ECE teachers are highly sought-after. It also provides a very important option to students wanting to stay on the West Coast and who are familiar with the community and families in the area.”

Simpson also says she has noticed a changing attitude to mothers returning to work soon after birth, fuelling demand for educated childhood teachers. “Whether it is home based or centre care, this is a growing industry with huge potential for employment,” Simpson says.

Having a nanny can be a slightly more expensive option, however many parents get their children together and share the cost of full time nannies.

The New Zealand Certificate in Nanny Education at Tai Poutini Polytechnic teaches students to care for children from birth to eight years old. Students have a period of practical placement which helps them learn firsthandin a context of different family dynamics.

“Our students range from school leavers upwards, age is no limit. We only take 12 students every year which makes for a great learning environment as they receive a lot of one on one tutoring,” Simpson says.

The programme is offered to school leavers with NCEA Level 2 and older people who have experience with and a passion for children. The programme is ideal for school leavers wanting to get some skills behind them before they go travelling or for older people with no qualifications wanting to upskill.