Kidsfirst Kindergartens

Head Office,

43 Birmingham Drive,


Christchurch 8024

+64 3 338 1303



  2. Career & Development Opportunities

 "This is a career in which you can make very real differences in the lives of the children and families you work with, but I also believe that if you want to make a difference to your own life
- become a kindergarten teacher."

Bernie Atger, Head Teacher,


When you choose Kidsfirst,
you open the door to a world of opportunities


With 68 kindergartens across three regions in every sort of community imaginable, we hands-down offer the widest range of career options of any South Island provider. There are opportunities to move within our kindergarten network, and also to expand your horizons into some stimulating head office positions. Teachers also contribute to our strategic development and its execution through working parties and advisory groups. Hearing and being responsive to the teacher voice is a key focus for Kidsfirst.


Each Kidsfirst Kindergarten is led by an experienced Head Teacher – very often somebody who has been with Kidsfirst for many years, having come up through the ranks. Each teaching team is allocated a Professional Leader –  an experienced senior teacher providing professional support to our teams in a variety of ways. The Professional Leaders themselves have seen it all before – and importantly, provide a connection point for sharing and wisdom between all of the teams they work with. 


Professional development is a big focus for Kidsfirst – we recognise that keeping our teaching teams actively engaged in growing and nurturing their own careers is integral to their providing quality learning outcomes. Many Kidsfirst teachers continue with further study while they work.   




Kindergarten is a great place for a career. Kidsfirst is one of New Zealand's largest early childhood education providers with a proud history dating back a hundred years (the oldest kindergarten in our family actually opened in 1899 and is still in operation today!). We have 68 kindergartens across Canterbury, Westland and Central Otago.


The Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association, with an annual turnover of around $20 million, employs approximately 280 permanent and fixed term relieving teachers and about 70 day to day relieving teachers. If you're interested in pursuing a career in this very satisfying field, whether you're new or returning to the workforce, please contact us for more information.




Kidsfirst Kindergartens runs a comprehensive Induction and Mentoring programme for Provisionally Certificted Teachers to support them to move to Full Teacher Registration.  This programme includes:

  • An assigned Mentor
  • Termly formal meetings with your Mentor as well as ongoing feedback and discussion sessions
  • Support and feedback from their Head Teacher
  • Comprehensive appraisal system
  • Termly meetings with other PCTs on topical subject matter
  •  Professional development opportunities
  • Opportunities to visit other Kidsfirst Kindergartens to observe other teachers and their practices
  • Professional reflections of their practice
  • Opportunities to take on delegated responsibility/leadership roles within the kindergarten team



Please click CURRENT VACANCIES  to view our latest permanent employment opportunities. Then get together the required documentation, fill out an Application Form and submit.  All our permanent vacancies will be advertised on this site and in the Education Gazette.  Perhaps you could have a look at the form and what it requires and start the process now to ensure you are prepared when that dream job comes along (there is a writeable PDF available for this purpose).


If you're thinking of some Relieving Teacher work, you need to put your name down on our list/s as these positions are not usually advertised.


If you are interested in being on either / or both of our relieving lists, complete the Relievers Application Form and submit that through to us.  We will review your application and get back to you regarding an interview.


Some of our day to day relievers are only available for certain days of the week or certain hours of the day – that is fine as hopefully their availability complements someone else’s, and staff regularly seem to be off work on the same day – so don’t let this put you off. 


We are also finding we have more and more need for what we term “lunch cover” and "afternoon" teachers, someone who works every day for a couple hours across the lunch time or from late morning to end of day – so again, if this interests you put it on your form and we will be in contact.














"I've worked at a number of different kindergartens, but had one employer."

Lyndell Turner, Head Teacher,


“Now I have a permanent position, I am looking to slowly work my way up to becoming a head teacher. I definitely know I’ll get the support I need to do that.” 
Victoria Pinnington, Teacher,



“Being a part of Kidsfirst has given me the opportunity to undertake further study and be involved in networks like NZEI, OMEP and more recently facilitating the Enviroschools programme into Kidsfirst. A first for the Early Childhood Sector in New Zealand! These opportunities have enabled us to make sure that Kidsfirst voices are heard in support of professional standards and high quality early childhood education.”
Sue Morrissey, Kidsfirst Education Services Manager


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