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National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3)

Level 3

The National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care will give you a solid grounding in all aspects of early childhood education.

An Early Childhood Education student takes care of two small children
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Wairarapa

Duration: 19 weeks, full-time

19 Feb 2018 - 29 Jun 2018

Domestic Fees:*
$3,328.50Scholarship info

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

UCOL’s National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care is a one semester full-time programme that covers health, safety and nutrition; caring for young children; development and learning; and how to develop educational programmes for infants, toddlers and young children. 
As part of this early childhood education programme you will take on a practicum placement in an early childhood setting to put your learning into practice.
Note to Whanganui students: This programme will be delivered by subcontractor Training For You.

**Note to Levin students: You can take this course at HLC Levin.

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Early childhood centres
  • Home-based settings
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Teachers.

 Course Information

  • Fundamentals of Early Childhood
  • Health, Safety, Nutrition
  • Caring for Young Children
  • Development and Learning

CAR – This course has a Compulsory Academic Requirements (CAR) meaning you must complete this requirement over and above any course assessments.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

Students complete placements in industry so we have a wide-range of connections to Early Childhood Centres in our regions.

 Learning Facilities

Learn from our experienced and supportive lecturers in our Early Childhood classrooms on both our Palmerston North and Wairarapa campuses and when on placement in Centres.  

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 (including 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits)


Equivalent academic achievement


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean

Placement in work experience is pursuant to the student's criminal history being clear of any matter which might cause UCOL to question their suitability for employment in the early childhood area.

Acceptance into the programme is conditional on a student completing the Department for Courts Criminal Record check (police check) and sending it to the Department for Courts to allow the release of their criminal history to UCOL.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.0 with no band score lower than 5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

UCOL's National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) comprises 63 credits.

Students will be placed in an early childhood setting organised by UCOL to achieve required practicum hours. Work placements and successful completion of the programme are dependent on a satisfactory police check and UCOL’s ability to place students successfully.

UCOL will undertake a safety check of all students after enrolment to ensure UCOL meets the legislative requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act, 2014.  UCOL will do this on behalf of early childhood education institutions and providers of private childcare placements hosting UCOL students.  The safety check involves confirming the student’s work history, verifying their suitability to work with children with a trusted referee, and completing New Zealand Police vetting.  

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.

Students at HLC Levin
Programme requirements may vary. Please contact your tutor for details.

Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 3) as follows:

The following books are available from leading book stores including textbooksRus.
  • Clark, B. & Grey, A. (ED.). (2010). Āta Kitea Te Pae – Scanning the horizon. Perspectives on early childhood education. North Shore, New Zealand: Pearson. Approximate cost $64.00
  • Drewery, W. & Claibourne, L. (2014). Human Development: Family, place and culture (2nd ed.). Australia: McGraw-Hill Education Pty Ltd. Approximate cost $100.00


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.