We are very excited to share the news of the first 32 graduates in the Playcentre Education programme for the NZ Certificate in ECE and Care Level 4. This is a significant milestone for these people who are to be congratulated on their achievement.

It is also pleasing to see 50 students started the C405 “Theory guides Practice” module online in February beginning their journey through the C-series towards this goal too.


One Module at a Time Online

During 2020 we modified our position on 1 module at a time online. People were given access to move to another module before completing a prior module while they had to wait for Covid 19 restrictions to be relaxed to be able to go back into centres to do assessment and practical work. 

The expectation is that you finish or at least submit an assessment for each module before being given access to another online.

The reason for this is that while doing the online content ideally you will also be involved on sessions doing the practicum requirements alongside the content delivery.  This paces your progress to ensure the programme learning hours are being met and you have the opportunity to integrate the learning into your practice as you progress – also doing homework and assessment exercises along the way.

C405 is a pre-requisite to all other C modules – you should complete at least one assessment for C405 before moving on to further C-series online modules. After C405 you can do the modules in any order noting C409 is to be done last and is by invitation only once you have completed all other modules.

There is one exception – C408 “Communicating Effectively” is a face to face module and because availability may be limited locally to once or twice a year anytime after you have completed the PEA you may register to attend and can work on C408 while working on another C-series module.


These are available to support students with online study if you do not have a suitable device to access courses online. A phone will work but does not provide the best overall experience with the quizzes and interactive components in the course. If you would like to borrow a chromebook please contact Haley Brown ([email protected])

Booking for face to face workshops

Just a reminder Please Register. It is important to book a place on face to face workshops through the workshop booking system on the Playcentre website – it enables us to know the number of resources to provide and also tells us if there are enough people attending to go ahead with the event.  Please cancel if after booking a place you cannot attend– people on the waiting list then get automatic invitations.  At level 2 it is very important to know who is attending (for contact tracing and distancing requirements).

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 or 2020). 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 worthwhile stepping 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)

For further FAQs please click here.