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MIT Helps to Meet Demand for Early Childhood Educators

Manukau Institute of Technology is committed to providing opportunities to a greater number in the community through blended learning programmes that allow students to balance work and study

A recent story in the New Zealand Herald highlighted a shortage of qualified early childhood educators, noting that the Early Childhood Council found ‘30 per cent of childcare centres have unfilled vacancies for qualified teachers this month.’

“Demand in Auckland is extremely high,” says Kylie Smith, Head of Education at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).

“Students in our diploma and degree programmes are typically employed before they have completed their studies.”

MIT’s School of Education is in close contact with early childhood centres who want students to complete their practical training with them. Many of these placements become fulltime jobs.

“It’s a rewarding and important career,” she says. “The children we work with are aged from zero to five, developmentally they’re all at different stages
which can make the role quite complex. It’s our job to harness their creativity and inquisitiveness, to set them up with the dispositions for a lifetime engaging in learning.”

There are career options beyond the classroom for graduates including team leader positions, management, self-employment and working for other related bodies.

MIT offers a three-year Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) (Level 7), which leads to certification with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

It also offers a one-year, Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Level 5), which can be used to gain employment in the field as well as providing credit recognition for the first year of the degree programme (under specified criteria*).

“It’s great news for students that their skills are in demand. But it’s also important we, as an institute, respond to the sector’s need for more graduates. That’s why MIT has been expanding options for more flexible delivery so that a greater number of the community can access this opportunity to train or retrain,” says Acting EGM – Student Journey, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.

From 2019, MIT will be offering blended programmes.

“We want our students to be able to study and work at the same time in a way that fits their other commitments,” says Smith. “We’ve increased the capacity for online learning to complement the in-class theoretical learning and practical field-based work in centres so that students can complete their studies ‘on the job’ if they are already working or volunteering in an early childhood centre.”

The programme was developed in response to consultation and feedback from the student body (past and present), lecturers and industry along with the school’s advisory group and is approved by NZQA and the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

[ENDS]

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