Last month, Whānau Manaaki’s home based early education service, Etu Ao, celebrated its 20th cohort of graduate educators at its Porirua office. The newest TONI educators (TONI stands for Teach, Observe, Nurture In-home) received level four certificates in early childhood education.

Six women graduated this week and five were able to attend the ceremony with their families.

It was an emotional ceremony for the graduates and their families, with tears of pride and happiness. For many it is their first qualification and completing it with competing responsibilities of family and work is a major achievement.

The TONIs work in their homes, caring for and teaching up to four children with support from visiting teachers, in an environment that nurtures language and culture.  The Etu Ao programme has been going since 2012, and more than a thousand children have benefitted, while over 100 TONIs have been trained.        

It’s the first time the educators have studied at Level Four rather than Level Three, so the training was academically more demanding. For some it may be the first step to becoming an early childhood teacher, and for all it will open new opportunities.

Mana MP Barbara Edmond spoke at the ceremony, recognising the achievements of the women and the obstacles and hardships they had faced. 

Find out more about becoming an Etu Ao Home-based educator here. 

MP Barbara Edmonds with Etu Ao Graduates











Mana MP Barbara Edmonds with Etu Ao Graduates

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