What to consider when deciding on a qualification to study

The Review of Home-based ECE has set the Home-based educator’s minimum qualification requirements.  This has compelled the topic of what level of study educators should complete in the sector.

The minimum requirement that looks to be set is a level 4 qualification, however for practicing educators who have worked in the sector for quite some time are unlikely to gain much benefit from this level of qualification.

Te Rito Maioha ECNZ believe that when considering what qualification to study, the New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) should be the standard.  By considering a start from the level 5, you can evaluate the benefits of whether a level 4 or even a level 7 qualification would be better for the individual’s education needs.

The level 4 is the minimum needed to be a home-based educator and would best suit someone who is new to the sector or has had no previous professional “first 1000 days” training or is only temporarily going to be in the sector. This level of qualification allows educators to work but will provide them with only the minimum amount of knowledge expected to do so and would lose out on the benefits gained by completing a level 5.

The level 7, or Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) degree, would be the ideal qualification for someone who is looking to make long-term career out of the home-based sector. This is the qualification that is required by Visiting Teachers. Someone looking to advance within the sector will eventually be looking at completing this qualification.

Reasons for studying the level 5 are noted below.

Review of Home-based ECE

The final consultation report with the government includes a proposal for a ‘quality rate funding’ (page 14). This means that Home-based education providers whose staff hold a level 5 or higher qualification may receive more funding.

The details on this have not been released yet but will be released later this year.

Teachers Council

In the Review of Home-based ECE, Teachers Council’s submission included a response to what qualification they prefer for home-based educators. The qualification they preferred as the minimum was the level 5. This was due to the “study pathways into Initial Teacher Education”, and how this “would support greater quality” for educators, tamariki and their whānua.

You can read their full submission here.

Study pathways

When choosing what programme to study, future study and career aspirations should be considered. An educator who may want to become a Visiting Teacher (VT) will need to eventually complete a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) and Te Rito Maioha’s level 5 qualification does have courses that can be credited towards the degree.

The NZ Diploma in ECE (Home-based Care) has two courses (60 credits worth) of study that may be cross credited towards completing the Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) degree.

Fees Free

In 2018 the New Zealand Government released an initiative to make the first year of study free. This funding is only available for people who haven’t completed any study at level 3 or higher after leaving school.

For many educators in the Home-based setting studying the level 5 will be free using this initiative. To check their eligibility visit this website.

For more information on Te Rito Maioha’s NZ Diploma in ECE and Care (Level 5), a level 5 qualification specifically tailored for the needs of the Home-based ECE sector, you can visit this page or alternatively call us on 0800 244 532.