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Recognition of Primary Teacher, Secondary Teacher, and Overseas Early Childhood Qualifications

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Primary School Teachers

Qualified and registered primary school teachers can work in early childhood education as registered teachers. You will count as a member of the teaching team and your employer will receive funding from the Ministry of Education to go toward paying your salary or wage as a registered teacher.

So if you are a registered primary school teacher you can apply for teaching positions in early childhood education.

There is a limitation you need to know about. Early childhood staff who hold only a primary school teaching qualification are not under regulation allowed to be in charge of the day to day running of an early childhood  service (i.e. you will not be recognised as a ‘person responsible’). Primary trained teachers working in early childhood need to upskill/upgrade to an early childhood qualification (e.g. a post-grad diploma in ECE) in order to be eligible to be left in charge or to take charge of an early childhood service.


Secondary School Teachers

Secondary teaching qualifications are not recognised for the purpose of teaching in early childhood education.  You may work in an early childhood service as an unqualified teacher or undertake a recognised ECE diploma or degree.  When enrolling for an ECE diploma or degree apply for recognition of prior learning and you may get some credit.


Overseas Qualifications

Contact the NZ Qualifications Authority for information and clarification of recognition for your particular qualification. NZQA assesses applications on a case by case basis.  

For an overseas qualification to be recognised by the NZ education system for the purpose of working in early childhood education it must be assessed as at least equivalent to a NZ Level 7 qualification or as containing core components of a NZ Graduate Diploma of Teaching (ECE) qualification.

Overseas qualifications assessed by NZQA as equivalent to a Level 7 ECE qualification and approved by the NZ Education Council, are recognised by the Ministry of Education for ECE staffing and service funding purposes.


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