In New Zealand, you don't need a formal qualification to work in our Early Childhood Centres (also known as Nurseries, Daycares, or Kindergartens).
You get just as involved as our qualified teachers and help children as they transition throughout the day's routine.
All Centres run slightly differently, and their schedules may vary depending on the age group you are working with. However, this routine is what a general day looks like.
Your Daily Schedule
Arrival: Bring your ID and find a permanent staff member to help you settle in and tell you about the day ahead. The classroom will be set up, and some children will have arrived.
Morning: You'll be engaged with the children playing. As more children are dropped off, permanent staff will help them settle in.
Morning tea: Older children will likely have mat time in the morning, while some younger babies may sleep before morning tea. You may help with rounding children up for food, helping serve the food, or even helping some children eat. In addition, you may assist in cleaning up.
Free play: Between morning routines and lunchtime, it is a great time to get as involved as possible with the children, setting up activities, playing with them and getting to know them. Permanent staff will be happy to direct you if you are unsure where to be or what to do.
Lunchtime: Older children may have another mat time before lunch. You will assist with setting up and serving food again. Most age groups have a quiet time after eating.
Early afternoon: After lunch, Under 2-year-old children will likely have a sleep. It can be busy between lunchtime and sleep, and you may need to help children change their clothes. Older children may have story time or rest and then continue free play.
Afternoon tea: As younger children wake up or as older children continue their free play, another meal that may need your assistance takes place.
Afternoon: Children will slowly begin to be picked up by their caregivers, and the classroom and playgrounds will need to be tidied for the end of the day. Take note from the permanent staff when and how to do this.
End of day: When you go home, collect all your belongings and let staff know you are finishing up.
For Unqualified Teachers
The only difference for our "unqualified" teachers is that you won't be left alone on the floor – so you'll always have somebody around to support you!
You are just as big a part of the children's day as any other teacher, so don't forget to get as engaged as you can and ensure every classroom you enter is happy to have you.
ECE Recruitment Consultant