The keenness of the government to promote Early Childhood Education (ECE) to ensure that children are prepared well for their scholastic career has encouraged the establishment of Childcare Centres throughout the country.
While these Centres (such as Discoveries Educare, discussed in another article in this Special Report) have become an important part of promoting wellness among children, there is yet another service that is gaining popularity.
This is the ‘Home-based Child Education Service,’ operated through private establishments with the service provided by qualified and registered as early childhood education teachers.
Home-based education and care differs from other Early Childhood Education (ECE) options because children remain in a home environment. A home-based educator provides full or part day education and care for fewer than five children under the age of six, in private homes. Coordinators, who qualified and registered early childhood education teachers, monitor the quality of service provided by the educators.
Founded in 2011 by Rippan Sandhu, a qualified and experienced teacher, this facility aims to provide quality childcare service from homes to children whose parents prefer one-to-one care for their children and/or want their children to be closer to their homes.
“Sunrise provides a great opportunity to caregivers to earn good income from their home while simultaneously training caregivers the art of providing quality childcare service. Sunrise homes and our home-based educators welcome children into a calm, caring family-like environment, which is well established and well-resourced to encourage children to learn various aspects of life,” she said.
Administrator Dr S Ajit said that Sunrise Home-based teachers also cater to the diverse interests and abilities of children.
“We believe that all children should be given the opportunity to receive quality care and experience through the learning they encounter during this journey. Every child and its whanau is valued, respected and treated with dignity. The aim is to include and acknowledge the diverse cultures within our community,” he said.
According to Business Manager Ranjilla Chandra, the Home-based facility is care and education provided to children less than five years old.
“Children are cared for in the home on an educator meeting the ratio of 1-4. The service provides care for children 24 hours, seven-days a week,” she said.
Mrs Sandhu, who is also the Founder-Director of Discoveries Educare, which has nine centres throughout Auckland, said that the philosophy of Sunrise Home-based Childcare Service is to provide an enriched learning environment to enable children to grow with a serene and cheerful mind and blossom with a healthy mind and body.
“We believe in respecting the physical, emotional, social and spiritual development of each child. Our programme is based on the principles and strands of the government’s Early Childhood Curriculum (Te Whaariki). Children are observed and assessed through various evaluation tools (learning stories, child’s voice, parent input, individual development plans) and this information assists in the monthly programme planning for each child,” Mrs Sandhu said.
Requirement & Funding
Licensed home-based education and care services are required to comply with the regulatory standards and criteria set out in the statutes and rules in force.
A licensed home-based service is eligible to receive government funding, and must comply with the Education Ministry funding rules.
Service providers can use the Ministry’s licensing assessment tool for home-based ECE services or talk to their local Ministry office to find out more about early childhood regulations and criteria.
A Ministry official said that children need access to an environment that is “fit for purpose and support children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.”
Consideration must be given to how the home-based environment would reflect the curriculum framework and support the level of quality education and care required in the regulations.