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Free ECE course enables carers to get qualified

Home-based educator Charmaine McMenamin from Creators@Home with Tyler. Supplied image.

A Tauranga home based educator is encouraging other providers to take up a free course to become qualified.

Charmaine McMenamin is a home-based educator with Creators@Home and although she is already degree-qualified she’s encouraging unqualified early childhood education colleagues to take up the opportunity to get their qualifications with Creators.

She says getting qualified has given her “more insight and knowledge around how to support young children in their learning journey” as she has the theoretical knowledge to apply to her teaching practice.

“I feel privileged to work in a home-based education setting with my young grandchildren and some other local children.”

Creators Educational Trust and Vision College have launched a new free New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care - Level Four with the first group of students beginning the programme earlier this month.

This is in response to the Ministry of Education aspirations to raise the levels of qualifications in the profession.

In 2019 the government signalled changes to the ECE sector in its Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029. When finalised, the strategic plan will require all New Zealand home-based educators to hold or be training towards at least a level four ECE qualification.

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority approved 38-week course allows home-based educators anywhere in New Zealand to become fully qualified while still working.

During the programme they must be enrolled as home-based educators with Creators@Home, and commit to working with the organisation for at least 18 months.

The programme can be done from almost anywhere in the country where Creators@Home visiting teachers are able to visit.

Creators Educational Trust chief executive officer David Gibson says the course has been designed to ensure students succeed.

“The difference between this and other programmes is the high-level of wrap-around support that educators will receive; we’ll be working alongside them every step of the way. It is a flexible programme they can do at their pace, while still working, and the workload is manageable.

“Once they have completed their study, they will be eligible to access a quality network [which means the opportunity for increased earnings].

“For experienced educarers, the programme formalises what they already know and extends their practice. And for those new to the profession, it offers on-the-job training and a step towards a rewarding career working with babies and young children.”

Creators@Home is a nationwide, non-profit, in-home childcare service with around 350-400 educarers and 800 students on its books across the country.

Vision College is a private training establishment with campuses in Hamilton, Christchurch, Auckland and Pukekohe. It has an established early childhood education programme that has been operating for more than a decade.

For more information on the New Zealand Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care - Level Four contact 0800 CREATORS or visit: www.creators.org.nz

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