Fees and funding

NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 4 is free and you are supported to complete it.

One big advantage is that this qualification is nationally recognised both within and outside of Playcentre. This qualification provides career opportunities in the early childhood sector.

You are welcome to do the education programme at your own pace.

We do not charge tuition fees for our courses but if weekend courses or training events attract extra accommodation, travel or food costs you may be asked to meet these.

If there are such costs you will be advised of costs and the policy about refunds if you cancel before the event. Some centres may support travel and babysitting costs while you progress through your study but this is not always possible. Your centre education officer will be able to tell you of any financial assistance available.

Further details about 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?