NZ provider expresses concern that home-based early learning is being unfairly targeted
With the recent publication by the New Zealand Ministry of Education of the names and locations of those early childhood education and care (ECEC) services who had breached the minimum standards in 2019, local in home care provider, Tiny Nation, has noted that it has “become clear in the wake of the list being released that the home-based service type has been unfairly targeted”, mirroring concerns expressed about family day care in the Australian context.
“As a new home-based early learning provider, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with many educators and Kaiako (teachers) working from home, observing them in action with children. What we see are high quality learning opportunities and outcomes for children and a relationship-based focus that meets the needs of their families and communities in a way that no other early learning service can,” a Tiny Nation spokesperson said.
“Those who are a part of the home-based early learning sector, both educators and families, are fierce advocates for the opportunities that learning at home provides for our children. It embraces traditional values around how we raise our babies, allowing them to learn and grow at their own pace with low ratios of care, nurturing environments and one on one relationships. It offers flexibility, comfort and a home away from home to the families who use it, with educators self-chosen by families to become an extension of their support network and, indeed, their ‘village’,” the spokesperson added.
With the advent of the New Zealand Government’s Early Learning Strategic Plan, all home-based educators will be required to meet minimum qualification standards and providers will be required to increase the focus on educator recruitment, training and support.
“As we analyse ‘the list’ of providers who have breached minimum standards in the past year,” Tiny Nation said, “it’s important to take learning and prioritise action sector-wide that supports a more consistent approach to high quality early learning.”
“Of course, we can and should do better across the board. But let’s also take a moment to acknowledge the educators and kaiako who showcase all that is great about our sector. The educators who offer their communities flexible, accessible, loving and natural home-based care environments. The ones who love their care children like they are their own and who deliver programmes rich in play and learning. These educators are valued beyond words by the families who choose them to care for their children, and it’s not fair to marginalise them based on a deeply held philosophy that means they choose to work from home. Instead, it’s time for them to be celebrated for the difference that they are making in the lives of our children and for the unique and diverse community needs that they meet.”
To learn more about Tiny Nation’s model of care, please see here.