FAQs for Overseas Montessori Professionals

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about becoming or being a Montessori teacher In Aotearoa New Zealand.

If you have a question you need answering, please email: ce@montessori.org.nz

I am an overseas Montessori-trained kaiako (teacher). Will I be able to get work in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Montessori schools in Aotearoa New Zealand, often have positions available for Montessori-trained kaiako. Individual early learning services/schools will make their own assessment of the suitability of the Montessori qualification you hold.  Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand (MANZ) does not assess qualifications.

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

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

All qualifications must be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

What are the teaching qualification requirements in Aotearoa New Zealand?

In Aotearoa New Zealand, requirements for teaching qualifications are:

Montessori Early Childhood Teachers (0-6 years)

Teacher-led, service-based early childhood services must have a minimum of 50% of the total ‘regulated staff’ to hold a teaching qualification recognised by the Teaching Council of New Zealand for teacher registration. Montessori diplomas are not recognised for New Zealand teacher certification.

Government funding for services is 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 Montessori early learning services but this will not count towards the government funding received by the service.

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 Aotearoa New Zealand are required by law to be certified by the Teaching Council of New Zealand.

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 Teaching Council of New Zealand can usually appraise teaching qualifications from Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. Qualifications from other countries may need to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Montessori Adolescence Teachers (12-15 years)

All secondary school teachers in New Zealand are required by law to be certified by the New Zealand Teaching Council. We currently have 3 Montessori high schools in New Zealand.

Montessori Adolescence training can only be completed overseas.