After the success of UCOL’s Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 4) programme, the Ministry of Education has selected UCOL as one of their preferred education providers to upskill Early Childhood Educators across New Zealand.
Last year the Government announced that all home-based early childhood educators must hold a New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 4 as a minimum qualification by 2025. “That means there are currently approximately 6,500 educators working in the home-based Early Childhood sector who will need to gain this qualification within the next four years,” says Dr Bridget Percy, UCOL’s Head of School for Education.
UCOL’s programme is designed for those already working in this sector, who will need to earn their qualification while still working. “We have found that the blended approach works much better for learners, as it includes a mixture of face-to-face and online sessions,” says Dr Percy. “The students do not necessarily have to attend the classes in person - they can link in remotely. Each session is recorded, so that the learners can return to the content later or even watch it at a time that better suits their work schedule. This style has proven to add real value to their learning experience.”
Being successful in gaining the national contract means UCOL can now work towards significantly expanding their successful delivery model across the country in collaboration with a number of other Te Pūkenga subsidiaries. It also ensures that those who are home-based Early Childhood Education and Care workers can access this qualification fees free.
The programme has achieved phenomenal success during the time it has been offered, with an overall course completion rate of 90% of learners being successful in their studies. “It’s fantastic, our team are very pleased with the completion rates we’re seeing. We’ve also recorded 95% and 94% course completions respectively for our Māori and Pasifika learners,” adds Dr Percy.
The Ministry of Education finalised the contract with UCOL in March this year. With this contract in place, UCOL is also working directly with home-based Early Childhood Education and Care providers to help with their training needs.
UCOL is working relentlessly to ensure all is in place for learners to enrol in the first of the many class intakes. “We are working on getting cohorts up and running as soon as we can. We will not be waiting for term start dates, we will begin cohorts of classes as soon as a class fills up. The sooner we can assist the sector and get educators started on their journey, the better,” says Dr Percy.
“We know some educators will have questions, as it’s so important that this programme fits in with their needs. Interested learners can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help them through the process,” adds Dr Percy.