Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Aperfield Montessori)

Te Tohu Pokairua Matauranga Kohungahunga (Aperfield Montessori)

Learn to reveal the unique potential in every child.


Students completing this programme will gain the qualification of New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) – Te Tohu Pokairua Matauranga Kohungahunga Manaaki (Level 5).

This programme has been designed for a wide range of students including qualified early childhood and primary teachers, unqualified teachers, parents, carers, psychologists and other interested professionals wanting to train in the Aperfield Montessori Method.

Students who graduate with the New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) may be able to progress to a Level 7 ECE initial teacher education programme if they meet the entry criteria.

If you are a degree-qualified ECE teacher, you may be eligible for credit of prior learning, which would reduce the programme to six months.

If you are not degree qualified and complete this Level 5 programme, you will be provided with a credit of prior learning for two papers in our Bachelor of Teaching (ECE), which would reduce your degree by six months.

The Aperfield Montessori Method

This method of education is a holistic approach based on a lifetime of observation and study by Dr Maria Montessori.

The basic tenet is that a child learns best through practical life  activities, with the guidance and encouragement of qualified, caring teachers.

The Aperfield Montessori Trust has provided expert advice to Te Rito Maioha on Aperfield Montessori practices.

Aperfield Montessori Trust Scholarship

The Aperfield Montessori Trust is offering scholarships to assist students studying the New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Aperfield Montessori) with their fees.  

If you are awarded a scholarship, and after you complete the qualification, the Trust will reimburse you directly for an amount up to $3,000.00 of the fees paid to Te Rito Maioha.

For more information click here.

Programme delivery
Te ara tuku

Four 30-credit papers will be taught over a one-year period through a blend of online and face-to-face learning.

Two of the papers will be taught concurrently in Semester 1 with the remaining two taught concurrently in Semester 2.

You will be required to work (either employed or voluntarily) at an ECE centre for a minimum of 12 hours a week under the supervision of a registered teacher with a full practising certificate.

Admission requirements
Nga hiahiatanga tono

To apply for this programme, you must:

  • be at least 17 years old (or 18 years old if you are an international student, with the minimum entry requirement being Academic IELTS Level 5.5, with no score lower than 5)
  • provide a written reference (this cannot be from a family member or friend)
  • provide evidence that you will be working with children in an early childhood service at the time of entry
  • pass a children’s worker safety check as required under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014
    have NCEA Level 3 (including 10 literary credits at Level 2 and 10 numeracy credits at Level 1). However, if you do not have NCEA Level 3 or its equivalent, we will still consider your application on a case-by-case basis.


2019 Semester 1 Key Dates
Start date:
4 February
Block course:
15 - 18 April
Mid-semester break:
8-21 April
End date:
23 June

2019 Semester 2 Key Dates
Start date:
15 July
Block course 1:
17,18,19 July
Mid-semester break:
30 September - 13 October
Block course 2:
18, 19 September
End date:
1 December



Nga pepa

The Montessori Philosophy and Methods of Teaching and Learning
Te rapunga whakaaro me nga tikanga ako o Montessori

This paper investigates Montessori philosophy including the life and work of Maria Montessori and some of the key concepts she developed such as the absorbent mind, sensitive periods, normalisation, her notion of developmental stages, and the role of the Montessori teacher. The paper investigates observation and makes links between observation and the Montessori theory and philosophy.  Students will also learn about Montessori activities that prepare children for language skills.   

The Montessori Philosophy and the Montessori Curriculum
Te rapunga whakaaro me te marautanga o Montessori

This paper investigates Montessori curriculum in relation to the Montessori philosophy. Montessori activities are considered in relation to mathematics, geography, geology and biology. Students learn how to use Montessori specific equipment and the rationale behind the use of this equipment. There will be a focus on the learning and development of children in relation to Montessori philosophy. In this paper research, practical life activities and reflective practices are utilised to support learning about the Montessori philosophy and practice in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Contexts of Early Childhood Education 1
Te Ha o te Ao Hurihuri 1

This paper investigates the social, historical and political contexts that shape society’s views of the family, whanau, infants, toddlers and young children, and early childhood education. Using multiple perspectives, the paper examines how early childhood provision and teaching approaches have evolved in response to the changing needs in society. This includes the significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, indigenous aspirations and the development of Te Whariki for early childhood education.  

The Child 1
Te Ha o te Tamaiti 1

This paper explores how infants, toddlers and young children develop a sense of self and the importance of children’s sense of identity for their well-being, learning and development. These are examined in the light of theories and research of teaching, learning, and human development. A range of observation methods are used in early childhood centres, involving families and whanau and in accordance with ethics of observational practice, to generate a rich picture of infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s learning, development and well-being. Observational evidence is interpreted and explained in relation to the early childhood curriculum document, Te Whariki. Understandings of infants’, toddlers’ and young children’s engagement with literacy and physical activity are also explored.