Head Teacher

Job Description 

  • Diploma/Degree in Teaching (ECE)

  • Full Registration with Education Council

  • Minimum 5 years in ECE sector

  • First aid certificate

  • Salary $65,000 - 70,000 per annum – full time

  • Strong understanding of Te Whāriki, active programme planning and internal review skills along with enthusiasm towards personal development, particularly regarding team leadership and management.

  • Knowledge of Reggio Emilia principles

Job summary 

The Head Teacher role encompasses leadership and oversight of the quality of education and care provided for their pod, promoting and maintaining standards of excellence in the outcomes for enrolled children. Drawing upon their teaching experience to serve as a mentor for new and developing teachers with the skill of offering constructive criticism and helpful solutions without alienating or discouraging them. Will have good observational skills and be able to offer fresh, creative solutions in difficult situations. Most importantly, dedicated to the improvement of the teaching profession in the ECE sector. 

Job competencies 

Decision making – uses sound judgment to make good decisions based on information gathered and analysed.  Considers all pertinent facts and alternatives before deciding on the most appropriate action.

Teamwork - interacts with people effectively. Able and willing to share and receive information. Co-operates within the group and across groups. Supports group decisions and puts group goals ahead of own goals.

Work standards - sets and maintains high performance standards. Pays close attention to detail, accuracy and completeness. Shows concern for all aspects of the job and follows up on work outputs.

Motivation - displays energy and enthusiasm in approaching the job. Commits to putting in additional effort. Maintains high level of productivity and self-direction.

Stress tolerance - displays emotional resilience and the ability to withstand pressure on an on-going basis. Deals with difficult situations while maintaining performance. Seeks support from others when necessary and uses appropriate coping techniques.

Communication - expresses ideas effectively. Organises and delivers information appropriately. Listens actively.

Job details

Adhering to the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Standards for the Teaching Profession. The Code sets out the high standards for ethical behaviour that are expected of every teacher. The Standards describe the expectations of effective teaching practice and are set out below:

Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership

Demonstrate commitment to tangata whenuatanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Understand and recognise the unique status of tangata whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Understand and acknowledge the histories, heritages, languages and cultures of partners to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Practise and develop the use of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Professional relationships

Establish and maintain professional relationships and behaviour focused on the learning and wellbeing of each learner.

  • Establish relationships based on respect and trust to enhance learning opportunities for children. 
  • Ensure all parents’ comments and concerns are dealt with or handed on to the Head Teacher appropriately.
  • Attend Centre events, including parent evenings.
  • Attend and actively participate in team and Centre meetings.
  • Provide meaningful feedback to parents on the development and events of the child’s day. 
  • Contribute to formal methods of communication, including parent newsletters, parent evenings and parent meetings.
  • Accommodate parent instructions for daily routines and communicate these to other staff members.
  • Ethically and responsibly address issues as and when they arise.
  • Demonstrate the use of clear, accurate and professional language.
  • Articulate ideas and opinions professionally both written and verbal.
  • Maintain confidentiality in all matters pertaining to Childsteps Early Learning Centre.  
  • Ensure you provide mature leadership and support for the teachers in your room, leading by example in your practice.
  • Lead/facilitate room meetings.
  • Demonstrate and encourage effective respectful communication with colleagues and to be responsive to ideas from the teaching team.
  • Take absence calls for staff in your room and record in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrate a high degree of personal initiative with good planning and organisational skills.
  • Assist with induction of new (and temporary) staff in your room.
  • Ensure administration tasks are completed as required.
  • Practice the Centre’s Philosophy.
  • Participate with your team/Centre in fundraising and celebration events.
  • Promote the Centre within the community.
  • Maintain a professional image by consistently upholding uniform standards as set out in staff handbook.

Professional learning

Use inquiry, collaborative problem solving and professional learning to improve professional capability to impact on the learning and achievement of all learners.

  • Work with the team to evaluate all aspects of the programme for continuous improvement.
  • Actively undertake internal review in a meaningful and purposeful way, contributing to the strategic plan or in response to a spontaneous event.
  • Participate in on-going professional development and share the acquired information and experience with the team.
  • Offer and share ideas with colleagues.
  • Seek and respond to feedback from learners, colleagues and other education professionals, and engage in collaborative problem solving and learning focused collegial discussions.
  • Collaboratively work with the Management team to actively solve problems. 
  • In conjunction with the Centre Manager address any performance issues in a timely manner.
  • Contribute to the Provisionally Registered Teachers and Fully Registered Teachers mentoring programme.
  • Ensure teachers in your room have an annual performance agreement and development plan.

Learning focused culture

Develop a culture that is focused on learning, and is characterised by respect, inclusion, empathy, collaboration and safety.

  • Select, adapt, source or design relevant learning materials and resources.
  • Ensure daily programme and core activities are offered.
  • Promote the physical, cognitive, emotional and social learning of young children.
  • Ensure communication with each child is at that child’s level. Acknowledge feelings with sensitivity and demonstrate appropriate expressions of emotions. Assist children in expressing themselves by listening and responding with questions or comments that extend conversations.
  • Ensure OSH checks are completed daily.
  • Practice safe work methods, utilising and making proper use of safety equipment and eliminating workplace hazards. 
  • Understand and actively undertake room and Centre fire and earthquake drills.
  • Check that all accidents involving children are reported to the parents and that management is informed should any serious or significant accidents occur.
  • Maintain resources to a high standard, reporting maintenance issues within the room when they occur.
  • Understand health and safety responsibility per health and safety legislation and Centre policy and procedures. 
  • Take responsibility for your own health and safety and ensure no action or inaction on your own part harms others in the workplace.
  • Ensure that a good standard of hygiene is practised and in accordance with procedures. 
  • Ensure the cleaning is completed regularly as per the cleaning schedule.
  • Ensure the room is left tidy at the end of the day so the cleaner can carry out his/her duties. 
  • Ensure that Centre Policies are actively practised and teaching staff know and understand what they mean.
  • Ensure first aid is checked and refreshed monthly. 
  • Check for patterns in accident reports monthly.
  • Maintain compliance with the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Services 2008 and Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework. 
  • Follow the Positive Guidance and Social Competence Policy as established by the Centre. Ensure guidance of children’s behaviour encourages positive self-concept by applying positive guidelines such as redirecting, positive language and positive reinforcement.
  • Understand and apply the Supervision Plan.
  • Undertake appropriate teaching and administrative requirement.

Design for learning

Design learning based on curriculum and pedagogical knowledge, assessment information and an understanding of each learner’s strengths, interests, needs, identities, languages and cultures.

  • Use Te Whāriki principles, strands, goals and learning outcomes to encourage individual and group learning.
  • Apply the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach.
  • Ensure programme planning is responsive to emerging interests.
  • Ensure teaching team are noticing, recognising and responding to individual and group learning and that documentation is professional. 
  • Ensure teaching team use a variety of teaching techniques including modelling, observing, questioning, demonstrating, and reinforcing.
  • Demonstrate a respect for diversity. Assist with the provision of inclusive and diverse language, images and experiences.
  • Ensure the language and culture of families is promoted.


Teach and respond to learners in a knowledgeable and adaptive way to progress their learning at an appropriate depth and pace.

  • Encourage and assist children to practice self-help daily.
  • Ensure resources are accessible and open-ended so they can be used, moved and combined in a variety of ways.
  • Ensure the environment is presented appropriately and responsive to children’s individual learning, including their physical and emotional needs.
  • Support the educational aspirations for Māori learners, taking shared responsibility for these learners to achieve educational success as Māori.
  • Teach in ways that ensure all learners are making sufficient progress, and monitor the extent and pace of learning, focusing on equity and excellence for all.
  • Use an increasing repertoire of teaching strategies, approaches, learning activities, technologies and assessment for learning strategies and modify these in response to the needs of individuals and groups of learners.
  • Provide opportunities and support for learners to engage with, practise and apply learning to different contexts and make connections with prior learning.
  • Teach in ways that enable learners to learn from one another, to collaborate, to
    self-regulate and to develop agency over their learning.

Other Duties

Provide support and expertise to other teachers, team members and the management team as required.