Advantages of home-based childcare

The are many advantages when it comes to home-based childcare and it is now the fastest growing type of early childhood education in New Zealand. Time and time again research shows that group size and child to adult ratios are key factors in quality outcomes for children. Find out if home-based childcare is suitable for your little one.
The are many advantages when it comes to home-based childcare and it is now the fastest growing type of early childhood education in New Zealand.

Time and time again research shows that group size and child to adult ratios are key factors in quality outcomes for children.

Home-based childcare enables a close and trusting relationship between your child and caregiver, fostering strong emotional development and attachment.

Find out if home-based childcare is suitable for your little one.


1. Benefits of home-based childcare

Whether your child is cared for in your own home or at someone else’s place, here are some of the benefits of home-based care to help you decide if it is right for your child:
  • Your child’s individual interests and strengths can be closely followed based on small group sizes.
  • Your child is able to build a secure attachment with one person based on the 1:4 ratio.
  • Your child’s usual home routine can be followed, such as their sleep and meal times.
  • There is a greater flexibility in the hours of care to help accommodate your needs - this may be particularly helpful for shift workers or people with particularly early or late starts.
  • In-home care works well for mixed-aged families, as your baby and four year old child can be cared for together. Also, if you have an under five and an over five your caregiver could care for your school-aged child too after school.
  • Learning is catered to your child’s needs due to the small group ratios, rather than trying to meet the needs of a large group of children.
  • Your child can enjoy every day childhood experiences like going out for spontaneous walks and outings, baking, collecting the mail, hanging out washing etc.
  • Your little one is able to socialise and interact with the community and go to swimming lessons, music groups, playgroups or sports during the week.
  • You can choose a caregiver that speaks your home language to your child or is of your own faith to follow on with your beliefs.

2. Who should care for my child?

While home-based care providers can certainly assist in matching you with caregivers in your area, the right person may be right under your nose.

Did you know that a family member, friend or trusted neighbour can care for your child and receive all of the support that a paid nanny or educator would receive?

The Ministry of Education offers funding to provide support from an early childhood teacher to help your chosen caregiver with your child’s learning and development.

You are still eligible for subsidies such as the Work and Income childcare subsidy, even if the caregiver is related to the child.

3. Why link up with a home-based care service?

Home-based care providers vary greatly so it is important to do your research and ask lots of questions.

Every provider should have registered and trained teachers who will visit your child and their caregiver.

Ensure police checks are carried out as well as health and safety checks.

You can also access the Education Review Office (ERO) report, which is a government assessment of the performance of all early education establishments in the country.

A quality home-based care service will provide:  
  • Monthly visits from a trained early childhood teacher, who together with the caregiver can identify your child’s strengths, interests and abilities and plan for their own individual learning on a one on one basis.
  • The flexibility to choose your own caregiver if you wish and to make your own conditions around wages and working hours.
  • Guidance on interviewing a caregiver and contracts.
  • Quality educational resources to match your child’s learning and interests.
  • Many home-based care services provide a monthly written learning journal that documents your child’s developing skills, interests and strengths for the month as well as ideas and resources for the next steps in their learning.

4. Questions to ask a home-based provider

Here are a few questions you can ask a potential home-based provider before signing up to their service:
  • Are there any fees or admin costs for being part of your service?
  • How long have you been established as an organisation?
  • How often will your teacher visit and for how long?
  • What sort of resources can I expect to be provided?
  • Can I access subsidies such as Work and Income through you?
  •  How many hours a week does my child need to be enrolled?
  •  What information will I get as a parent on my child’s learning and progress?
  •  What support will my caregiver get?
  •  What benefits are there for my child’s learning?
  •  How does your service differ from other services?
 Don’t forget to visit their website and read their ERO report too.

5. Have you thought of becoming a caregiver?

Becoming a nanny or in-home caregiver can be a way to stay at home with your own child whilst earning an income caring for other children and gaining a more social environment for your child.

There may be friends from your coffee group, play group, friends of family who would love to have someone they already know care for their child.

If not, you can sign up to a home-based childcare provider so families in your area can be put in touch with you.

Look for a service that gives you the choice of setting your own rates and conditions and gives you the choice of organising the payment of wages or having your own arrangement with the other parents.

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Source: This article has been written by Creators, a nationwide service offering quality home-based care and education. Creators are passionate about seeing every child’s unique talent being recognized and nurtured.
Image source: australianchildcarecourses

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