Scholarships and Grants for ECE Teacher Training

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Child tells the story of the hungry caterpillar to friends at ECE centre

“Do you know of any scholarships or funding available for training a man?  My 30-year-old nephew has decided to make ECE his career and I am looking for ways to help financially.”


TeachNZ is the main option for training scholarships for both men and women. If you apply for a TeachNZ scholarship you will have to stand out in some way as there are way more applicants than scholarships. But do not let this put you off. These days most people growing up or living in New Zealand have, in some shape or form, knowledge, understanding and experience with Maori or Pasifika. Think hard about it, for example, your Maori language vocabulary is growing and your pronunciation is excellent thanks to your Maori school friends and rugby team mates. Make use of the guide that accompanies the application form which shows applications are also assessed for qualifications, achievements, leadership and evidence of community support for you to become a teacher. The TeachNZ scholarships are not means tested so you are eligible to apply regardless of previous income or assets.

Men In ECE Invitation Award

The Men ECE Invitation Award is available for men at the entry point of training for an early childhood teaching qualification that will enable them to be employed as a qualified and certificated early childhood teacher.

Scholarships Discussion

NZ teacher playing ukulele to infants scene - attentive quality care

Every person considering becoming an early childhood teacher should definitely search out and apply for scholarships, grants and awards. However, consider your financial, study and work options carefully. 

Check out  It is worth making various searches to see if you might be eligible for some of the many study awards available.  Some awards offer funding for any type of study so it is worth browsing the search results.  From browsing results you may also gain ideas on organisations to approach such as local rotary clubs, churches and employers of relatives. To avoid paying a fee to use the database call into your local library or community centre. 

Consider carefully all options including putting off study until you have saved enough. How much is enough depends on each individual’s circumstances but consider that course costs alone will be anywhere from $5000 to $10,000. Contacting WINZ (childcare subsidy), IRD (working for families) and Studylink (student allowances and loans) will give you an idea of how much funding and what subsidies you’ll receive if you study full-time. Also check to see how much you can earn until they begin reducing your allowances.

If you complete your study early, e.g. a graduate diploma in one year,  your hourly rate will go up as soon as you’re qualified so you’ll be earning a higher income earlier. Some full-time students also work full-time while studying but be wary of burn out and high stress, not to mention some training providers may not approve.  Others go the other way and are able to extend their study, e.g. graduate diploma, over 18 months or 2 years thus enabling work while studying.

Studying while working is a popular option to not only help to subsidise the cost of study and living but also for hands-on practical experience and enjoyment.  Approach early childhood centres to see if they would welcome you as an untrained teacher.  Keep your eyes open for job vacancies offering prospective employees support for study and maybe discounted childcare if you have a child. 

Before committing yourself work out your finances to determine affordability and consider all your options. Then, putting in the time and effort to search and apply for scholarships, grants and awards could prove fruitful.

Also consider whether the wage you may earn after study will be worth the sacrifice you have made to study.  What does an early childhood teacher earn

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