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Intensive early childhood ed programme launched

College launches intensive early childhood education programme

A fast-track programme at Auckland College of Education is helping implement the government’s strategy that all early childhood teachers hold an early childhood teaching diploma, as well as catering to people who want to switch careers to early childhood education.

The Graduate Diploma of Teaching in Early Childhood Education at Auckland College of Education is the first in the country to be fully accredited by the New Zealand Teachers Council and begins in July this year. It was developed under contract to the Ministry of Education specifically for primary teachers.

Early childhood teachers who hold a primary teaching degree or diploma can potentially qualify in 12 months full-time.

“There is a demand for skilled early childhood teachers, and the government’s early childhood strategy aims to provide an intensive pathway for primary teachers already working in early childhood centres to gain an early childhood qualification,” says Barbara Backshall, the Director of Early Childhood Teacher Education at Auckland College of Education. People with any general degree can also potentially qualify in a shorter time - 18 months – instead of embarking on a three-year degree.

“We have anecdotal evidence that people thinking of moving to an early childhood career from another career have being discouraged by the cost and time of another three years study.

“It was important to cater better to this group, to enable people with degrees in other fields to bring the richness of their education and work experience into teaching in early childhood.”

The diploma will be offered from a distance, with some study on campus at Auckland College of Education. Students would get the required practical experience in their geographic areas wherever possible.

With kindergarten teachers gaining pay parity with primary teachers many people are now seeing that they can afford to pursue a career in early childhood education.

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