New Student Enrolment information

Calling New Members – Find out more about Playcentre Education 

Where should I begin:

Nearly all of our learners start with the first module B401 Kia Tākaro | Let’s Play.  This module is offered as four face-to-face 2.5 hours workshops or an online self-study module. 

Check out the Upcoming Workshops and Online Modules to find workshops and online modules starting soon. 

Sign up online for the option you’d like and our Student Support Coordinators will be in touch with an enrolment pack and more information.  The enrolment information and criteria below explains more details about enrolment eligibility and processes.

Enrolment in the Playcentre Education programme

NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (level 4)

Eligibility to enrol

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Provide evidence that you are a ‘domestic student.’
  • The certificate is an English-language qualification – a sufficient level of English is required to study at Level 4.   

A ‘domestic student’ is a citizen of New Zealand (including students from the Cook Islands, Tokelau, or Niue) or a person who holds a New Zealand resident class visa or a citizen of Australia or holder of a resident visa for Australia who is residing in NZ. The evidence required for a citizen is one of the following: A Birth certificate with place of birth stated as New Zealand, Cook Islands, Tokelau, Niue or Australia or a NZ or Australian Passport. The evidence for a resident class visa is the NZ residency stamp in the Overseas Passport or a letter from Immigration New Zealand stating the person has a resident class visa. Special provisions apply to certain overseas military personnel, diplomatic staff and their families or persons associated with Operation Deep Freeze and for refugees. Playcentre Education cannot enrol non-domestic (International) students. This also applies to non residents in NZ on a work or visitor visa. Other providers are accredited to accept international students.  Please contact the Education team can discuss options for whānau who do not meet eligibility requirements. 

  • Complete a Safety Check.

A safety check is required by the Children’s Act 2014 (formerly the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014) for students in an Early Childhood educational or vocational training programme involving practical experience in a licensed Early Childhood service (Playcentre). It will be carried out confidentially so that it is processed while you attend the Playcentre Introductory Award workshops and completed before you finish the Playcentre Educator Award. This check requires confirmation of your identity. Two forms of ID must be sighted, one primary and one secondary, one of which must be photographic. Verified copies of these identity documents must accompany the forms.

– Primary ID documents are a Passport, full Birth Certificate or Citizenship Certificate.
– Secondary ID documents are a NZ Drivers licence or an 18+ card or a Community Services Card.
– If the documents are in different names you will need a change of name document – a marriage or civil union certificate – this is also helpful if your National Student Number (NSN) is in a previous name.

Practical experience will take place in the Playcentre where you are enrolled with your child/children. You will have completed the Playcentre induction process before enrolment in the adult education programme.

Those with a Playcentre Course 4, 5 or 6 from the Playcentre Diploma in Early Childhood and Adult Education programme or a level 5, 6 or 7 Early Childhood qualification from another Tertiary Provider are not eligible to enter the level 4 programme. If you have a level 4 qualification in Early Childhood or a related field (eg. a Nanny certificate) you should seek advice from the Regional Education Co-ordinator on whether you can enter this programme.

All students should read the Student Handbook Student Information Handbook July 2022

An enrolment pack will be given to you at your first workshop. It will contain:
1. An Application for Enrolment Form
2. “Safety Checking form for Intending Students” and
3. A “New Zealand Police vetting service Consent form”.

Additional information on the Forms and enrolment can be found in the document Guide to Enrolment Form

Verifying Documents
Please bring these to your workshop along with a photocopy. Your facilitator can verify the copies (sight the original and sign the photocopy) to accompany your forms for processing. Alternatively, your Centre administrator, Centre Support Worker or an NZPF Staff member can verify the copies of your documents.

Further Information About Safety Checking And Police Vetting

An intending student will be police vetted under the mandatory requirements of the Children’s Act 2014 (formerly the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014) as a student on practicum and as a core worker in an Early Childhood centre. NZPF is the agency who makes the application to the NZ Police vetting Service. A designated person at regional level will process the police vet application and the Safety Check. Your information will be treated confidentially as required by the Privacy Act.


There is a schedule of very serious offences which would exclude someone from working with children. You will find these listed in The Children’s Act 2014 (formerly the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014) which can be read at

Fees Free

Playcentre Education courses are No Fees –Students do not need to check their eligibility for fees free before they enrol as no fees are charged to any individual students to do Playcentre Education programmes.

Most of our parents in Playcentre are not first year students (as defined in the fees free criteria with their last year of secondary education being in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 or 2021). Most are adult students who have done some other study or courses before coming to Playcentre so that most have already used their fees free entitlement. 

However, as the enrolment form suggests if you think you have fees free entitlement and are concerned about how enrolling in the Playcentre Education programme (leading to the NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care level 4) might affect you it would be wise to check with national Education staff (Education contacts are on the Playcentre website) for yourself as to how fees free applies specially to you so you make decisions based on good information.

Here are some things to note

  • Government policy is that any qualifying study at level 3 or above by a fees free eligible student even if no fees are charged consumes fees free credits. This includes in the Playcentre Education programme where we do not charge fees and we do not receive any money from ‘fees free’
  • Unused entitlement is carried forward– so if someone does a PIA they will only use 10 credits of their entitlement – they do not lose all their fees free entitlement. Our enrolment policy of confirming enrolment one module at a time when written work is first submitted minimises the consumption of credits.
  • Bear in mind gaining a Level 4 qualification for a school leaver who does not have university entrance NCEA credits will give them access to university courses they may not have been able to enter without the level 4 qualification (it demonstrates the ability to undertake tertiary study) and they will have consumed only 60 out of their 120 credits so the Playcentre Education programme could be a really worthwhilestepping stone into tertiary study for some.

While a few students will consume some fees free credits doing some or all of the Playcentre Education programme that they receive at no cost the vast majority of parents who are not fees free eligible (numbering in the thousands) also receive the courses at no cost even though they are not fees free eligible. This supports not only their Playcentre journey but their own parenting and for newly resident immigrants provides help with parenting and settling into a new culture in supportive environment.

Fees free consumption is reported to TEC monthly – In 2020 of 2300 students who studied with Playcentre education only 1 consumed fees free eligibility credits (and only 10 credits). In 2021 five students consumed a total of 40 fees free credits between them.

Frequently asked questions on Fees Free

How might doing the Playcentre Education programme affect my fees free eligibility?

Who can I talk to about this?

Who is eligible for fees-free study?

How do learners check their eligibility?

Will there be any changes to the fees-free process for 2022?

Where can I get further information?