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NZ Homebased ECE Assoc. Respond To PM's Address

NZ Homebased ECE Assoc. Respond To PM's Address

The New Zealand Homebased Early Childhood Education Association is delighted that the Prime Minister has recognized the importance of Home based ECE. The President Evan Kidd, Christchurch, said today that the Association has been pressing the Ministry of Education to take recognition of the changing role of Homebased ECE in the community.

"Homebased ECE offers a good alternative to centre based care. The cornerstones of effective early childhood education, are the small ratio's between adults and children, the training of the staff, and the steady one to one relationship between a specific adult and a child. All good homebased ECE meets these requirements easily. Homebased care also has the advantage of of being more flexible in meeting requirements of parents who work shifts or rosters, and who may also work outside mainstream hours." "In Australia" he noted over 50% of all childcare is Homebased of Family Day Care."

However there were some difficulties in setting up or expanding homebased services. Although the up front costs were lower than centre based services, the total cost were about the same. "As you can imagine equipping 20 or 30 Educators home's is expensive ", Evan Kidd said " apart from the employment of fully trained Co-ordinators as required by the Home Based Care Order, there is also a huge cost in the supervision and training of educators.". "Unfortunately Homebased Education will receive the lowest increase in Ministry of Education funding for any ECE type in June, as only the education qualifications of Co-ordinators is recognized.'

Home Based Care services met the requirements set by the ECE strategic Plan long before they needed to. The other main difficulty is finding the right people to be homebased Educators. "Homebased educators are now seen as professional ECE workers, They tend to be either fully qualified or in training up to diploma level. The Association has been working with the Open Polytec and other training providers to establish a pathway directly into the Diploma of Teaching ECE that is appropriate to Home based Educators. This is now available and we are talking to the MInistry of Education to make sure that they recognize Educators efforts.

I am confident that the sector is willing and eager to take up the prime Minister's challenge, Evan said, "We look forward to bring the benefits of Homebased care to more children in the future:


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