New Zealand Early Childhood Teacher Salaries

Salaries are annual unless otherwise stated.

Salary and wage information for New Zealand professions is compiled regularly by analysis of New Zealand jobs advertised in major publications. Salaries are annual unless otherwise stated. Job ads in New Zealand often do not mention remuneration. Salaries are generally negotiable, within limits.

Early childhood teachers work in kindergartens (state-run early childhood centres) or in private education centres.

There are three main qualifications for this occupation:

Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) – three year course
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) – one year course
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) – three year course.

Starting salaries for early childhood teacher range from $34,000 to $45,000 depending on qualifications. Experienced early childhood teachers in senior positions can earn between $60,000 and $85,000.

For comparison, the average hourly wage in New Zealand for the quarter ending 31 December 2015 was $29.38 according to Statistics New Zealand. This would give an annual average salary of around $59,100, working standard full-time hours.

Early Childhood Teacher Salaries / Wages in 2016

PositionSalary / Wage $Location
Qualified Early Childhood Teacher50,000 – 60,000Auckland
Qualified Early Childhood Teacher25 – 35 per hourAuckland
Early Childhood Centre Manager50,000Auckland
Montessori Focused Early Childhood Teacher24 – 26 per hourAuckland
Early Childhood Teacher48,000 – 52,000Auckland
Experienced Under 2’s Early Childhood Teacher27 per hourAuckland
Part-time Early Childhood Teacher25 – 30 per hourWellington
Early Childhood Teacher24 – 28 per hourChristchurch

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  1. Sona- Asadyari says:

    I work only 15 hours for an early childhood centre, I am holding the Bachlor of early childhood education, how much should be my hourly pay
    kind regards

  2. Hi Sona,

    Although it depends on organization but a qualified teacher is paid around $25 NZ per hour. I am a graduate diploma student in early childhood education.


  3. Hi,

    I am almost finished my second year in my ECE bachlor, next year will be last.

    Around how much should I be paid??


  4. I will be fully qualified in May-June this year with a degree in ECE. I was wondering what the average hourly rate is in the Waikato region.

  5. joy thompson says:

    Hi, i finished my bachelor of teacing degree last year and then i moved to palmerston north. The centre im at pays me (and others) under $20 an hour, am i being… played?

  6. I have a conjoint Degree of Education Auckland University with Dip ECE Auckland Teachers Training College. I have 13 years of experience. What would be a fair hourly rate if working as a relief teacher

  7. Hi Joy,

    Yes i feel you are being seriously underpaid as your are qualified. Have you started your teacher registration? I would seriously be doing comparison with other centers in your area. I am in 2nd year still studying and i am getting $17 per hour relieving. i go up to $18 in 3rd year and expect to start around at least $21 minimum. Please contact NZ teach or Ministry of ED as well. We are experts and professionals, not babysitters..

    Good luck.

    • Hi Joy, thank you for your reply to the message. It helped me too as I am still studying but went for a job interview at a Kidicorp ECE centre. They said because I am unqualified, I would get $14.25 an hour!

  8. Hi,

    I am a qualified ECE teacher with my diploma in teaching and bachelors of education, head teacher for under 2s and will have my full registration in november this year. I have been qualified for 4 years now. How much should I be getting paid?

  9. criena wainohu says:

    Hi, I currently live in australia, and have a cert 3 in childrens services, which is a child care assistant (no lesson planning etc) would i need to re-study to obtain another degree in new zealand if i was to move there with my husband (im aussie hes maori) or what position would i be suitable for? as i would prefer to walk straight into work then have to study again.. does nz offer traineeships to work while you study? any help is great thanks

  10. Hi! I am fully registered ECE qualified with international Montessori 2-6 qualification and have been working full time as a preschool Montessori teacher in the Manawatu region at the same preschool for six years. I am looking towards the future and needing to know whether I am being paid what I am worth.

  11. I am a qualified ECE teacher working in Wellington area, holding a Bachelor or Arts and Graduate Diploma in Teaching ECE. I am getting a very low pay rate which is $20.00 per hour but I am looking for another job that pays me in regards to my level of qualification.
    However, I am towards completing my Postgraduate Diploma in ECE and Professional Development. Therefore, I want to know what hourly rate should I be getting if I choose to work at an non-governmental organization, private or mainstream please?