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What is Early Childhood Education all about? We talk to NZSE tutor, Annie Gordon.

Annie Gordon has been dedicated to supporting adults who work in Early Childhood Education for many years. “I’ve been involved in educating adults in early childhood education my entire working career – I’ve been an advisor, I’ve been a practice manager, I’ve also managed an early childhood centre. I really enjoy my work at NZSE. Within this organisation you’ll find a whole lot of people passionate about teaching and learning”.

If you’re interested in a future in Early Childhood Education, where’s a good place to start?

A Level 4 Certificate in Early Childhood Education is a great starting point for those interested in the holistic wellbeing of infants, toddlers and young children.
What’s a misconception about ECE?

One of the big misconceptions about Early Childhood Education is that it’s babysitting; in fact, it is far from that. Some people may think ECE is about teaching colours and numbers and children how to count, but it’s really about getting children engaged and excited about learning and helping them become lifelong learners; teaching them to have good learning habits that they can carry through their entire life.
Why should you consider a career in Early Childhood Education

There’s a big opportunity to make a lasting impression in a child’s life and make a real difference.

What’s special about the delivery of ECE at NZSE?

ECE is delivered online. There are a couple of live online sessions in the evening each week. If you’ve got a busy life and you’ve got other commitments – which most people do – it’s just a really great programme as you can organise your time and do your study and learning when it suits you.

What can you expect when you study ECE online?

As a tutor, when I start working with a new cohort of students, I love to get to know each and every one of them individually. I also create opportunities for everyone to join in discussions and share information about themselves with the entire class; it’s a chance to learn and connect with others who may live all across the country.
How can you develop your skills if the course is online?

At NZSE, we know how important it is to gain practical experience, so that you are work ready. As part of the programme, you will have 64 hours of practical work experience where you’ll work in a ECE Centre, licensed home-based setting, kindergarten, language nest– this is when you can put into practice all of the learning you’ve done.

What type of job will you have after completing the programme?

There are lots of opportunities for our graduates. Many of our students have come to us because they’re working as ECE educators in their own home, and this programme provides them with the qualification required for them to continue this work. Other graduates gain employment as relievers or as support teachers. Also, some students carry on and continue their teacher education journey.

How can studying at NZSE give you an advantage when it comes to getting work?

We are really lucky that at NZSE we have great relationships with Early Childhood Education providers throughout the country. We value the relationships that we have with these providers because by partnering with us, they support our students and give them valuable opportunities. They help set our students up with the skills that they need to be successful when they walk into a job. And many of the students end up working in the centres where they completed their practical experience.

A tutor of ECE at NZSE for the past 2 years, lighting up pathways for lifelong learning is the heart of her purpose: “I particularly love working in adult education, and this was a great opportunity for me to step back and working with students to help them grow their passion for ‘getting it right’ for children.”

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