FAQ’s for Montessori Professionals

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about becoming or being a Montessori teacher.

If you have a question you need answered please email: eo@montessori.org.nz

I am a overseas Montessori trained teacher. Will I be able to get work in New Zealand ?

Montessori schools in New Zealand often have positions available for Montessori trained teachers. A diversity of Montessori qualifications has been acceptable in New Zealand Montessori schools.

Individual schools will make their own assessment of the suitability of the Montessori qualification you hold.  Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand does not assess qualifications.

The New Zealand Ministry of Education have requirements for teaching qualifications that may affect your ability to get a work permit or get New Zealand residency.

People holding Montessori diplomas are usually able to obtain work permits to teach for a specified time in a New Zealand Montessori early childhood centre or school. However, Montessori diplomas are not recognised for New Zealand teacher registration, but may sometimes be recognised for New Zealand residency, depending on immigration quotas!


What are the teaching qualification requirements in New Zealand?

In New Zealand requirements for teaching qualifications are:

Montessori Early Childhood Teachers (0-6 years)

The New Zealand Ministry of Education want to improve the level of qualifications held by people working in early childhood centres, including Montessori early childhood centres.

Teacher-led, centre-based early childhood services are required to have  50% of the total “regulated staff” to hold a teaching qualification  recognised by the New Zealand Education Council for the purposes of teacher registration. Montessori diplomas are not recognised for New Zealand teacher certification.

A centre will be required to meet this 50% teacher registration requirement under the licensing requirements for early childhood education services and government funding for the centre is currently tied to the number of registered staff, with funding increasing with a greater percentage of qualified and registered staff.

People holding Montessori diplomas alone, may get work in a Montessori early childhood centres, but will not count towards the government funding received by the centre.

Montessori diplomas are not considered equivalent to a New Zealand Diploma of Teaching or a Bachelor’s degree  which are three-year programmes and are not recognised for New Zealand teacher registration.

Montessori Primary Teachers (6-12 years)

All primary teachers in New Zealand are required by law to be certified with the New Zealand Education Council.

Most Montessori primary classes catering for the 6-12 year age group are part of New Zealand state primary schools.

In order to receive adequate teacher funding Montessori primary classes usually need people with teacher training qualifications, in addition to Montessori training. Additional qualifications may be recognised by New Zealand government departments for teacher certification and residency purposes.

Full teacher certification is required for New Zealand permanent residency. The New Zealand Education Council is usually able to appraise teaching qualifications from Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. Qualifications from other countries may need to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Montessori Adolescence Teachers (12-15 years)

All secondary school teachers in New Zealand are required by law to be certified with the New Zealand Education Council. We currently only have 2 Montessori high schools in New Zealand.

Montessori Adolescence training can only be completed overseas.