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September 10, 2018

The first 1,000 days lay the foundation for a child's life. The better the relationships are, the more the brain reaches its maximum potential...

Find the natural fit for your child with PORSE

Children are unique little darlings with their own personalities and quirks that make them who they are. And because they come in different shapes and sizes with their own attitudes, there is no one-size-fits-all approach – just ask a mother who tries to please everyone around the dinner table! Natalie Buckley soon discovered the same rule applies to childcare, as one option is not necessarily the right one for two different children.

There is no one size-fits-all childcare 

“My son loved his early childhood centre, he was extremely confident and thrived in the busy energised environment. He also liked structure so enjoyed following the routines, activities and events of a day at an early childhood centre. Whereas, my daughter Iyla is strong-willed, independent, and often challenges rules and routines. She also likes close interactions and prefers smaller groups,” Natalie says. It soon became clear that centre-based care was not a natural fit for her daughter.

Natalie wanted childcare that could support her daughter’s needs while guiding her development - so, she approached PORSE In-Home Childcare. As New Zealand’s largest and longest serving home-based ECE provider, the PORSE programme is backed by research. Erin Maloney, General Manager of Education and Training says the PORSE programme is based on understanding how the brain wires and fires in those early years. “We know from neuroscience that the first 1,000 days lay the foundation for a child’s life. The better the relationships are in a child’s life, the more the brain reaches its maximum potential,” Erin says.

Forming a relationship with a consistent caregiver 

“We know that children do best in a natural home environment where they can form a secure attachment with a consistent caregiver that can respond to their individual needs. One-on-one relationships give young children the foundation they need to become confident, resilient and capable adults. Children in home-based care and education are given the time and space to develop at their own pace. With a maximum of four children being cared for by one adult in a warm, calm environment, it’s a safe and supportive environment with one key adult that children can trust and connect with. The lower-ratio care that home-based offers also means less exposure to illness,” Erin says.

Natalie says the instant she met PORSE Educator Rianda she could feel her passion, love, and care. “I could sense her enthusiasm for learning and her understanding of what Iyla needed, she says. At PORSE, learning experiences are catered to each child’s interests, giving them the chance to try new things and grow their social skills and relationships with others.

Natalie watched her daughter flourish under Rianda’s care. “Rianda positively supported and guided Iyla to make her own choices so that she gained independence and as a result she quickly grew into a confident young girl. Iyla’s communication has improved as has her ability to make positive decisions,” Natalie says. “I feel so lucky that Rianda is in our life, because every day Iyla has a learning adventure that supports and reflects her current skills, interests, and strengths,” Natalie says.

Erin says one of the greatest strengths of quality home-based childcare are Educators and Nannies who are able to form a secure attachment and connect with each child’s unique learning patterns and pace. “It is through this attentive approach that our Educators and Nannies help children flourish, as they pick up on cues and interests that may go unnoticed in a larger group. Parents have a choice and it’s important they take the time to find the right fit for their child.”

Your childcare checklist 

This list will help you work out what you want (and don’t want) in an early childcare provider.  There are many different providers, such as home-based, centres, kohanga, Playgroups and Kindergartens. Many have different philosophies and you need to find what works for you. Here’s some things you should consider:

  • Decide what you want most for your child - routines, learning opportunities, etc.
  • Consider how the different types of providers will feel for your child and you.
  • Ask providers if your child will have a go-to person - someone they will know and feel reassured by.
  • Turn up to providers unannounced and get a real feel for what it's like there.
  • Ask about staff turnover and how often relief staff need to be used.
  • Ask about the provider's philisophy. What is it? How do they live by it? 
  • What do the adult:child ratios look like? You should aim for it to be no more than 1:4.
  • How much individual attention will your child need? 
  • What are the sleeping conditions? Will your child have their own bed and sleep for the hours you want? 
  • Get a feel for the daily routine - do they have a continuity of care model (one adult who is the primary carer for a number of children) or do they have rotating shift work (staff who are rotated around nappies, outdoors, etc).
  • Observe how children are supported to learn through play and exploration.

With so many options to choose from, it's worth taking the time to understand different types of childcare and how each is going to work for your child. To find the natural fit for your family, call PORSE today on 0800 023 456 or visit

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