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Australia Learning from Kiwi In-Home Childcare Model

Australia Learning from Kiwi In-Home Childcare Model

New Zealand’s leading in-home childcare provider, PORSE, is attracting huge interest from across the Tasman as Australia undertakes major reforms in childcare and early childhood learning.

Australian in-home sector delegates just visited PORSE to learn more about how they can grow and improve their in-home model and were especially interested in how PORSE had incorporated the traditional nanny as an affordable and flexible option in Kiwi homes.

NSW Family Day Care Association Chief Executive Anita Jovanovski says Australian law was reformed this year to reduce child to adult ratios in ensuring adults cared for no more than four children under school age, at one time. Previously they could care for up to five children.

The PORSE in-home model has always had lower ratios compared with New Zealand childcare centres where the ratios are up to six children to one adult.

“We have a lot to learn from the PORSE model in New Zealand which has always had lower ratios. We think that in-home childcare works well with the lower ratios and as a result we are working to introduce nannies into our in-home model and grow our sector. It’s amazing to see firsthand how PORSE has successfully engaged nannies into the home,” said Mrs Jovanovski.

“We are learning lots from PORSE about how to up-skill and work closely with the nanny to allow them professional development opportunities.”

PORSE Education and Training General Manager Erin Maloney said New Zealand could also learn a lot from Australia’s new reforms.

“Here in New Zealand we have increased our numbers of children in daycare to up to 150 and not lowered the care ratio. While in-home is the fastest growing ECE sector for children, we still only represent 9 per cent of the industry, with more children being enrolled from birth at out-of-home daycare services.

“PORSE has been building a relationship with Australia over the last 6 to 8 months and it’s great to see their Government realising that children grow and develop better in smaller groups, where they receive more one-on-one attention and create close loving relationships with their carers,” said Mrs Maloney.

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a public inquiry into future options for childcare and early childhood learning, with a focus on developing a system that supports workforce participation and addresses children's learning and development needs. As a result, they have started looking at the PORSE model and how it could add value to the early childhood education sector in Australia.

“There is huge opportunity for collaboration in the in-home childcare sector across New Zealand and Australia so we are doing a lot of work with them to see where the synergies are and how elements of the PORSE model could work over there.

“The nanny role is how PORSE started and now we have gone full circle again because we have come back to the rise of the nanny over the last few years where the nanny has become more affordable and accessible for families.

“We need our babies to be raised by people who understand the importance of settled in-home environments that offer intimate, on-on-one relationships. Strength comes from good beginnings and an environment of love is what grows the brain in the critical early years.”

When a baby is born 70 per cent of their brain is yet to develop. In the first three years of life, almost 90 per cent of the brain is wired up.

“At home children can receive more consistent one-on-one responsive care which helps them develop meaningful relationships in a family-focused community, supporting emotional growth and learning,” Mrs Maloney said.

PORSE in-home delegates have also been to Australia to understand more about how childcare and early learning is supported and continue to explore partnership opportunities with Australian providers, peak bodies and Government.


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