5 March 2019 — With the demand continuing to grow for early-childhood teachers, NZMA graduates are readily finding employment around the country. Early Childhood Education (ECE) students at NZMA, can gain a mainstream ECE qualification, where Pasifika and Maori strands are woven in as part of the qualification to provide a more holistic perspective to ECE in New Zealand.
While previously NZMA offered a Diploma in Early Childhood Education – Pasifika, this qualification was changed in 2014 from a Pasifika focus to a more mainstream approach. This was due to the fact that the demand in the ECE job industry was for mainstream teachers.
Doreen Chandra, NZMA Head of Faculty – ECE and Health says, “At NZMA we want our ECE programmes to reflect the realities of the ECE industry so that sustainable career pathways are created and maintained. An ECE qualification from NZMA provides students with a choice of being employed by a mainstream ECE centre, a Pasifika Language Nest or Kohanga Reo”.
NZMA graduates from the one-year Diploma in Early Childhood Education Level 5 can also gain credit recognition from the New Zealand Tertiary College and also gain entry to the Auckland University of Technology – Bachelor of Education – Early Childhood Teaching.
All families want the best for their children, and a great start for school life. To ensure this, ECE has become a vital stepping stone in preparing children for their transition to school. The ECE centres in turn need the suitably trained staff to deliver the appropriate care and learning.
NZMA student Lanie Lee was a stay-at-home mum, looking for a career, not just a job. She says, “I wanted to make a difference within my community and impact young children’s lives. Studying was the only way to bring my dream to life as I want to be a qualified ECE educator – so I made that happen”.
Lanie gained extensive knowledge throughout her studying, she continued, “I loved that we were able to gain experiences in an early childhood centre, and I was able to meet various unique children. From my studies I learnt many health and safety processes and policies – regulations that are very important in my current role”.
And life is good for Lanie as she is now a Programme Assistant at Skids. “My daughter was attending the Skids holiday program throughout the school holidays when I was studying. I saw a chance to work with not only other children, but with my daughter as well, so I asked the manager if they had a position available. She said yes, so I filled in an application and here I am!”
NZMA Early Childhood qualifications are inclusive and also open the door to our migrant communities to start their career in ECE. NZMA have highly qualified and trained lecturers who are from the ECE industry and they train students for work experience and employability.