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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

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EIT | Te Pūkenga lecturer Tania Hagen will lead the NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care [Level 5], which will be rolled out at EIT|Te Pūkenga in Tairāwhiti from next year.

The NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care [Level 5], which has been a success at the EIT | Te Pūkenga Hawke’s Bay Campus since 2022, will be rolled out at EIT | Te Pūkenga in Tairāwhiti from next year.

The one year programme gives the learner the opportunity to gain a qualification that will support the practice-based education and care of infants, toddlers, and young children in a range of early childhood contexts. This qualification is appropriate in Kohanga Reo as well.

The field-based programme, which was due to have started this year, provides a balance between theory, research and practice. Learners spend two days in face-to-face learning on campus mixed with online learning and then undertake a minimum of 12 hours per week in a licensed early childhood education service.

The level 5 NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care is the same as first year of the Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education).

Subject areas include child development, how children learn, supporting children’s learning, reflecting on your practice, communication, te reo Māori and artistic languages of children.

Leading the new programme is EIT | Te Pūkenga lecturer Tania Hagen, who has nine years’ experience as an ECE teacher and was appointed as a Member to the Order of St John – by the Governor-General for her services to St John NZ for promoting an inclusive and interactive youth programme. “Learners will have a chance to learn something on campus and then put it into practice at a centre and then come back to say how it worked or not. This adds a reflection aspect to their learning.”

“We’ve been around to see most of the centres and the Kindergarten Association is fully supporting us. Most of the centres can’t wait to have on campus learning happening again in Gisborne.”

Tania says that because the diploma is the first year of the degree offered at the Hawke’s Bay Campus, it gives many people a chance to get into tertiary study and come out with a qualification. Dependant on numbers there is an opportunity for the full degree to be offered in Tairāwhiti in the future.

Tania says they are expecting the first cohort of students next year to be quite diverse.

“There’s been  enquiries from the schools for school leavers and also mums who have been raising children but now want to embark on tertiary studies so they can get back into work.”

“We have seen a couple of male learners show interest, which is great to see.”

Tania says she has one hope for learners who finish the diploma.

“I want the students to come out with a passion for teaching in ECE. When you’re working at a centre, you get to watch the children grow from a baby into graduating to go to school. It is a special thing for teachers.”

Tracey Tangihaere, Executive Director, EIT | Te Pūkenga Tairāwhiti, says: “This qualification is perfect for our region – it is delivery in person and on site. It’s a great start to a great career in ECE and beyond.”