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Working with us


When you choose Kidsfirst, you join a proud tradition with a distinctly contemporary approach.


Kindergarten has evolved over the years, and Kidsfirst has taken the best of it to build a network with a rigorous focus on quality in teaching and learning, a values-led approach, and all the benefits that the scale of nearly 70 kindergartens brings.


Our administration and management teams aim to provide a foundation of support for our kaiako, kindergartens and communities which in turn enables them to grow, ensuring Kidsfirst remains strong for future generations to come. 


Our Head Office staff know how to run a tight ship, we're resourceful, well-organised and equally passionate about the sector we work in.


Becoming a Kidsfirst kaiako, kaiako matua, or kaiako rīwhi will stretch your professional horizons and expand your thinking. You are never alone – there is always a team around you, supporting you to deliver your best work.



Our kaiako enjoy;

Practice and Quality evaluation


The areas of practice and quality evaluation indicators are used by Kidsfirst’s team of Professional Leaders to evaluate the programme of each Kidsfirst kindergarten.


The indicators help ensure that wise practice and a culture of improvement are continuous and sustained over time.


The areas of practice are:

  • Head Teacher leadership
  • Pedagogy – Teaching and Learning
  • Bicultural Practice
  • Inclusion, Social Justice, and Equity
  • Documentation – self review, assessment information, and planning for learning
  • Environment
  • Compliance

Kidsfirst’s Provisionally Certificated Teacher Programme (Touma) 


We run a comprehensive Induction and Mentoring programme for kaiako holding tomua/provisional certificate to support them to move to tūturu/full practicing certificate. 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 Kaiako Matua
  • Comprehensive appraisal system
  • Termly meetings with other PCTs on topical subject matter
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Opportunities to visit other Kidsfirst kindergartens to observe other kaiako and their practices
  • Professional reflections of their practice
  • Opportunities to take on delegated responsibility/leadership roles within the kindergarten

Whether you work in head office in one of our admin or management roles or teach in a kindergarten, all of our staff enjoy the challenges and opportunities Kidsfirst has to offer.


Permanent Positions


All permanent full and part time positions are advertised internally and externally.


Administration and management positions are advertised on Seek, with Education Team positions also being advertised in the Education Gazette. These positions are typically applied for by way of cover letter and CV or Functional CV and each vacancy will detail the application instructions.


Kaiako and Kaiako Matua positions, full and part time are advertised on our website and in the Education Gazette. To apply for these positions please complete our online application forms.


You don’t have to commit to a 40 hour working week to be part of Kidsfirst – there are always a number of opportunities with varying levels of hours on offer that can work at every stage of your working life.


Part time or Point Positions


Point positions are simply a percentage of a full-time position. So a 0.818 position means 0.818 x 40 hours which equates to approximately 32 and ¾ hours.


For kaiako with in our kindergartens, how these hours are made up depends on the teaching position. The larger positions (0.727, 0.818, 0.909) are all morning kaiako covering the morning session and then generally covering the lunch breaks of some / all of the other kaiako. In addition they would work a number of hours of professional time to fit around this – exactly when is something to be negotiated with the team and Kaiako Matua in order to ensure your ability to attend team meetings etc.


The smaller positions (0.182, 0.273, 0.364, 0.545) are either kaiako positions specifically to cover while other kaiako take a lunch break, or afternoon positions covering the afternoon session only. There are some variations on this, but this is the general concept. Again there is some professional time built into these roles.


The table below provides some more detail regarding the most common combination of hours:


Point position

Contact Hours

Professional Time

Total Paid Hours



25 hours

(work 5 hours each morning)

11 hours & 22 minutes

36 hours & 22 minutes



22 hours & 30 minutes

(work 4.5 hours each morning)

10 hours & 14 minutes

32 hours & 44 minutes



20 Hours

(work 4 hours each morning)

9 hours & 5 minutes

29 hours & 5 minutes



15 Hours

(work 3 hours each day – could be morning or afternoon)

6 hours & 49 minutes

21 hours & 49 minutes



10 Hours

(work 2 hours each day)

4 hours & 33 minutes

14 hours & 33 minutes



7 Hours & 30 minutes

(work 2.5 hours each day)

3 hours & 25 minutes

10 hours & 55 minutes



5 Hours

(work 1 hour each day)

2 hours & 16 minutes

7 hours & 16 minutes


Kaiako Rīwhi


We don't take for granted the important role rīwhi (relievers) play within our association. Rīwhi kaiako are vital to the success of our kindergartens.


Many of our retired kaiako stay on as relievers, continuing to contribute their wisdom and talents to the next generation of kaiako and tamariki. Often, past kaiako will come back to us for relieving work when they re-join the workforce or come back to the profession after a stint away. Others just enjoy the variety of working in a mix of kindergartens and communities.


Our day to day relieving is casual in nature, this means as and when required. The amount of work a reliever will receive each week will vary according to the time of the year and the requirements of individual kindergartens along with their availability. Relievers who are prepared to travel to any kindergarten are likely to have more regular work. We appreciate having relievers who are available over the winter and during term breaks.


Full day relief typically starts from 8:00/8:15am in our services and ends at 3:00/3:15pm for most kindergartens, which is generally the contact hours of the kindergarten along with ½ an hour at the beginning and end of the session for preparation and tidy up (7 hours, less an unpaid lunch break). Some part-day, morning, afternoon, and lunch cover sessions are available, too.


There is no professional time associated with day to day relieving. 


Relievers are individually contacted from 6.45am each day and matched to a specific relieving job meeting their needs and ours. The hours for relieving will vary depending on the need at the time. You will be paid for the hours you are booked.


Fixed term relieving comes up from time to time and these positions are typically filled from within our pool of relieving kaiako. If you have indicated on your application that you are interested in such opportunities, our Professional Leaders will assess the fixed term position alongside your application and contact you with any suitable opportunities that arise.


Student Kaiako


Kidsfirst works closely with tertiary providers to provide opportunities for early childhood education students to experience what kindergarten has to offer through student placements and practicums.


We have experienced kaiako who love to support the next generation of kaiako, sharing knowledge and wisdom to strengthen teaching practices across our network.


If you’re studying early childhood we’d love to support your journey. Please ask your tertiary provider to contact Kidsfirst today about your student placement with us.


Kidsfirst only employ fully qualified and certificated kaiako, and as such do not have “Teacher in Training: positions within our kindergartens.


We love to bring graduate students into our kindergartens and would love to hear from you once you have gained your early childhood qualification.



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