Central Kids Early Education offers a child-led, community-focused and learning through play approach, with about 500 team members at 49 kindergartens and 8 early learning centres throughout Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Central Kids Early Education has been providing high quality, affordable early childhood education and care since 1951.
Central Kids has an excellent team culture and focus on professional development. They look for team members who are dynamic, committed team players who are passionate about making a difference to tamariki and whānau.
Early Childhood Education Teacher
Top Career Tip
“The world needs introverts and extroverts – there’s a place for everyone – but it’s always important to be willing to learn. You will never stop learning and those with a real drive for learning will go a long way.”
A Chat with Jelena about her role
Early Childhood Teacher
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) Wintec Alumnus
Certificate in Adult Teaching
Former Hamilton Girls’ High School student
What first interested you in this career?
I love children, of course, and when I was younger my mother was a home-based early childhood education teacher. When I was at high school I got involved in helping Mum with the childrens’ learning stories on the computer
What do you enjoy about your role?
What is one myth about this career you would like to dispel?
Some people tend to think that ECE teachers are just glorified babysitters. That’s a huge misconception. This is a profession just like any other and it’s a big responsibility. We are teaching the world’s future doctors, engineers, scientists, artists… everyone really! We have professional standards and ECE is actually very academic.
What schools subjects do you find useful?
All of them! We teach broadly when children are young, so everything is useful. One subject I would like to have studied more at school, looking back, is Te Ao Māori and Te Reo… we use these every day and it’s an integral part of who we are here.
What sort of qualities do you need for this line of work?
Patience, determination, resilience and a real drive for learning and upskilling. You also need to be adaptable and to be able to think on your feet! You never know what’s going to happen from moment to moment. We need introverts and extroverts – there’s a place for them both – but you do need to be a “people person”!
What are your career ambitions?
A Day in the Life
Arrive at work, knowing no day is ever the same and literally anything could happen! Start the day by greeting tamariki and whaanau.
Our philosophy is very child-centric, so the children really guide what happens throughout the day… they might want to craft, read or run around outside. They may want messy or physical or imaginative play… really their imagination is their limit – and yours!
Could be kai time but, again, this is guided by the tamariki. They eat when they want to eat and will come and ask. We follow their rhythms.
Mahinga-kai (literally meaning ‘to work the food’) is a big part of our centre and our community. The children are involved in gardening and we all cultivate our garden to feed our children, whaanau and community. This process supports our children to learn about sustainability.
I spend about two hours a week on admin tasks, like completing tamariki learning stories, portfolios or planning. I could also be doing something like making a wall display.
Mentoring and supporting ECE students might also be part of my day. This is why I completed my Certificate in Adult Teaching.
Farewelling children, as their caregivers come to collect them, helping with clean up and handing over to staff who will be closing at 5.30pm – never knowing what tomorrow will bring!
Becoming an Early Childhood Education Teacher
Skills, subjects and qualifications
You will need a qualification in ECE teaching from an approved tertiary provider. This could be a Graduate Diploma in Teaching or a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE).
Employment opportunities at Central Kids »
ECE Teachers Are
- Team players
- Passionate about making a difference to tamariki and whānau
A graduate teacher must go through a two-year registration process before becoming a fully certified teacher.