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Great news for childcare, says Barnardos

Great news for childcare, says Barnardos

''We’re thrilled the Government plans to increase support of home-based childcare,'' says Lynn McClelland, General Manager (Southern) of Barnardos, the country’s leading provider of top quality childcare for children under five years.

“This is a clear sign the Government recognises the value of home-based care as a childcare option,” says Lynn in response to Prime Minister Helen Clark’s comments on her upcoming ‘State of the Nation’ address (The Dominion Post, 31 January 2005).

“However, increased support must target services that provide high quality care and learning.”

As well as being chartered by the Ministry of Education, a high quality home-based service must provide children with care and learning in the home of carefully selected, vetted and trained caregivers, with regular monitoring by registered early childhood teachers.

“It’s surprising how few people think about caregiving as an option for work,” says Lynn. “Being a home-based caregiver is a realistic and worthwhile choice for women wanting to work at home, while raising their own children. It is an excellent way of getting back into the workforce, which Prime Minister Helen Clark has said she is keen to see. A number of Barnardos caregivers have gone on to undertake tertiary study and develop a fully-fledged career in early childhood education.”

An example of this is Lisa Lyons, a former Barnardos caregiver now working in a Porirua kindergarten.

“I started off as a caregiver and through the encouragement of Barnardos, have now got a degree in early childhood education and am working in a kindergarten,” says Lisa. “One of the benefits of caring for children in the home is the ability to be involved local community activities.”

Barnardos runs KidStart, New Zealand’s largest home-based care and learning service for children under five years, as well as the Number One Nannies service in Wellington. Barnardos also runs 20 Early Learning Centres, which provide centre-based care and learning for children under five.

“We firmly believe that parents and children deserve a choice of home based or centre based care,” says Lynn. “We eagerly await the Government’s proposals to support women and children while improving economic productivity.”

ENDS


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