What can I do with a degree in Early Childhood Teacher Education?
Through their Early Childhood degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferrable to a range of careers, including:
- Knowledge of teaching and learning processes
- Understanding of early childhood experiences and development
- Interpretive and analytical thinking
- Problem solving skills
- Thinking critically, creatively and challenging ideas
- Planning and organisation
- Patience and understanding
- Oral and written communication
Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom through work and other experiences also exist and can deepen your skills set and employability. Work and other experiences can also support and inform learning and skill development in the classroom.
Graduates are likely to find roles in early learning centres or child care centres. However, employment opportunities may also be found in a range of public and private childcare organisations, hospitals, and government agencies and departments. They may find themselves working more closely with groups of infants, toddlers and young children with specific needs, such as Māori, gifted or disabled children. There are also international teaching opportunities, for example in the UK and Australia.
Graduates who work in the early childhood industry play a vital role in supporting the development and learning of infants, toddlers and young children in their formative years. Graduates become skilled professionals who work alongside infants, toddlers and young children and their families/whānau in a range of early childhood settings. They are able to join an interactive and collaborative teaching profession where working with a team and making a contribution is highly valued.
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Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs including head teacher, educator, carer, or centre administrator.
Some of the jobs listed may require further study at postgraduate level. Postgraduate study can contribute to your employability. It enables you to extend your knowledge and skills, indicates your motivation and ability to persevere at a high level academically and can make you more competitive in the job market. Postgraduate study may be a prerequisite for certain jobs.
- Early childhood teacher
- Plans daily schedules and initiates learning experiences
- Cares for and educates children
- Records day-to-day activity, learning and development of children
- Builds meaningful relationships with children, families and communities
- Kōhanga reo kaiako (Māori language nest
- Works as an early childhood teacher in a Māori language and culture immersed setting
- Promotes the development of Māori language and knowledge in children
- Collaborates with whānau (family) and iwi (tribe) in the care and teaching of young children
- Early childhood centre director
- Manages and monitors the overall functioning of the centre
- Schedules day-to-day activities, from activities to staff breaks
- Professional development and employment of staff
- Checks the legality of early childhood centre policies and practices
- Reports to management with findings and recommendations
- Assesses use of funding
- Supports children's development and learning in their home
- Plans and supervises daily activities
- Carries out household duties such as cooking and cleaning
- Hospital play specialist
- Uses understanding of early childhood development to comprehend a child's experience of illness and trauma
- Ensures children remain active, keep their hobbies and make friends
- Provides opportunities for therapeutic play to help children cope with pain, fear and anxiety, and understand their condition
- Special education teacher
- Evaluates the needs of students while working alongside family/whānau
- Teaches children with a range of special learning needs
- Assists primary school teachers in developing suitable learning plans for these students
- Teacher aide
- Follows, but adapts, teachers learning programmes to the needs of specific students
- Works with students, often on a one-to-one basis or in small groups
- Assists students with personal care, involving for example, medication, toileting and eating
- Child advocate
- Promotes wellbeing and optimal conditions for children
- Works directly with children and their families, eg assists with fostering or adoption, schooling problems, or with abuse cases
- Attempts to address wider policies and situations that negatively impact upon children
Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered as a career option. For more information about UC student innovation & entrepreneurship, related internships, scholarships, courses and activities go to Careers, Internships & Employment
For further information on job titles, please see the latest UC Graduate Destinations Survey
As they progress in their studies and into a career, our students and graduates often join professional bodies specific to their area of interest. These organisations offer the opportunity to network and collaborate with others within the same community. Other relevant organisations are also listed.
- Early Childhood Council
- NZ Childcare Association
- New Zealand Educational Institute
- New Zealand Teachers Council
- New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society
- OMEP Aotearoa New Zealand
Social media networks, such as LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues for students and graduates to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and ‘best practice’, networking opportunities, industry-related events and job vacancies.
It is possible to study at postgraduate and graduate level in subjects both directly and indirectly related to your degree. For a list of postgraduate and graduate study options, go to Courses, Subjects and Qualifications
The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning with Honours (BTchLn(Hons)) is a one-year full-time postgraduate qualification for Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (or equivalent) graduates. It provides students with the opportunity to focus on educational issues or curriculum areas in which they have special interests.
Postgraduate study can also lead to an academic career pathway in teaching and research.
Carefully consider your motivation for study, how it fits in with your long-term career plans and whether it is likely to enhance your employment prospects.