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March 15, 2017

As more parents, particularly mothers, look to return to employment or training, the demand for quality early childhood education and care is increasing.   Many parents are overwhelmed with choices when it comes to what care and education service best fits their needs.  Home-based care has enjoyed strong growth over the past ten years, which may be because it offers parents what can be missing in a centre-based environment.

One-on-One Attachment Relationships

When a baby is born, 70% of their brain is yet to develop. In the first three years of life, almost 90% of the brain development left to be done is undertaken. Millions of connections between brain cells are formed, all directly in response to the environment around the child and the experiences that occur within relationships with those who care for them. Extensive neurobiological research indicates that the early attachments they experience lay a foundation for their health, relationships and resilience later in life.

Low Ratios

Home-based care ensures individualised attention for each child, with a maximum ratio of four pre-school children to each home-based educator, with no more than two children aged less than two years in that allocated number.  This means high levels of personal attention and less exposure to illness.

Individual Programmes

Children in a home-based care and education benefit from the learning and development that occurs within everyday routines and experiences, focusing on current interests and using the community as an environment to explore these interests and foster natural play experiences. They get exposed to real life situations such as visits to the supermarket, the library, play groups and other community services, developing their social skills, relationships and personal responsibility. Linked to the early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki, programmes recognise and respond to individual needs and are supported by qualified and registered ECE teachers.

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The Environment

Home-based care and education provides a natural, nurturing and calm place for a child to learn and grow, fostering a sense of familiarity, safety and security in children.  Too often they can be faced with situations or new places where sensory overload and stimulation overwhelms them. 

Flexibility

Home-based services can offer a great degree of flexibility in terms of hours of care and, if parents wish, they can opt for a home educator to work from their own home, providing a secure and familiar environment for their child. 

Income Source for the Stay-at-Home Parent

Home-based services offer parents looking to re-enter the workforce a unique opportunity to do so by providing care and education for other children in their home, alongside their own children. This provides them with additional income and a new career pathway shaping little minds. 

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