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Working in kindergarten

Employment opportunities

Regional kindergarten associations employ qualified and registered teachers, support staff in kindergartens including teacher aides and kindergarten administrators, as well as administrative staff in association offices. Most associations advertise teacher vacancies in the Tukutuku Kōrero Education Gazette or, along with non-teaching vacancies, on their websites. Associations have a mix of full time and part-time positions, and short and long-term relieving teaching positions.

Teacher qualification and certification requirements

Teachers employed in permanent positions in kindergartens have a recognised teaching qualification, and full or provisional teacher registration certification or certification subject to confirmation, approved by the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. Teachers must hold a current practising certificate to certify they are suitable and fit to teach, which is renewed every three years.

The teaching qualification is a three or four-year degree or its equivalent, or a post-graduate degree. If you are unsure about your qualification status, check with the organisation you completed your teacher education programme with or contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for an assessment. If you need further information on teacher certification contact the Education Council. Kindergarten associations provide comprehensive induction and mentoring programmes for all newly qualified teachers, overseen by professional leadership teams (senior teachers) employed by each association.

Training to be a teacher

There are many providers in New Zealand offering a range of teacher education programmes. Programmes may be campus-based, on-line or in-centre (where you are employed as a staff member while you are studying to become a teacher) – or a mix. In kindergarten, teachers employed in a permanent position will have graduated from a teacher education programme. For more information on providers and programmes, go to TeachNZ.

Non-teaching staff

A number of associations employ administrative staff, teacher aides and other non-teaching support staff to work as part of the kindergarten team. These positions are usually part-time and may be for a fixed term or on a casual basis. Some association offices may also employ specialist advisors such as kaiwhakahaere or speech language therapists, and finance, property and human resources specialists. Vacancies for these positions are usually on association websites.

Employment conditions

Kindergarten teachers who are members of NZEI Te Riu Roa are covered by the Kindergarten teachers, head teachers, and senior teachers collective agreement 2017 – 2019 (KTCA). Check the copy below to find out whether you would be covered by the agreement, the salary rates, leave entitlements and other employment conditions. Teachers not covered by the collective agreement will be on an individual employment agreement (IEA).

Non-teaching staff employed by associations are most often covered by an individual employment agreement (IEA). The agreement is negotiated directly by the employee and employer. There is a collective employment agreement, the Kindergarten support staff collective agreement (KASSCA), covering association support staff working in kindergartens which is currently available to people employed in specific non-teaching positions, such as administrative roles.

Kindergarten associations like all employers are bound by a range of employment legislation including provisions on holidays, parental leave and health and safety. If you want more information about general entitlements as an employee go to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

Employment Agreements

Copies of the KTCA, IEA and KASSCA employment agreements are available for you to view.

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