Home Based Educators Welcome Minimum Qualification Requirements
Published on Tuesday, 04 August 2020
Last updated on Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Home based early education provider Tiny Nation has welcomed the recent announcement that the home-based early childhood education (ECE) and care providers will move to a fully qualified workforce by 2025.
The move follows a review into home-based education and care in 2018 and the decision to ensure better and more consistent quality for more than 17,000 New Zealand children enrolled in home-based services.
The new standards require all licensed home-based early childhood educators to hold, or be actively working toward, a grand-parented Level 3 ECE qualification, a Level 4 ECE qualification or Te Ara Tuarua (the Level 5 kōhanga reo qualification) or higher.
Erin Maloney, Founding Director of Tiny Nation, a provider of home-based early learning and care, believes that these changes signal a move to lift the professionalism of the home-based sector and provide parents with high quality choices when it comes to child care.
“While introducing mandated qualifications is a significant shift for the sector, it recognises the place that home-based early learning has alongside its centre-based counterparts and professionalises the incredible work that our educators and nannies do to support high quality learning outcomes for the children in their care.
“Research shows that qualifications are a strong indicator of quality education and care for children.
Having an awareness of early childhood education, theories and philosophies provides educators with the tools and knowledge they need to give children the best possible start in life.”
Ms Maloney also supports the move to a single quality rate for funding over the next five years, with qualification requirements being lifted annually between now and 2025 to actively encourage the shift to a qualified home-based workforce.
“I think it’s great that the transition to all educators being qualified is positive and proactive, with timeframes that support providers and educators to prepare for what it will take to train a workforce.
The Government is injecting additional support to enable this and the timeframes enable educators who may have not trained at tertiary level before to engage with it in a meaningful and practical way alongside the work that they are already doing as an educator.
Making on-the-job training possible will mean that hopefully we can retain the incredibly experienced, nurturing and passionate educators in our sector that currently don’t have any formal training,” she said.
In a post-COVID world with parent choices around early learning shifting, Ms Maloney believes that a move to a fully qualified workforce in home-based ECE will only serve to strengthen the many benefits that a home-based early learning environment already offers, including low adult to child ratios and small group sizes.
We know that children have the best chance to flourish when they have secure attachments and a strong sense of belonging in their early years. Our small group sizes and connected relationships foster this.
The move to a qualified workforce will in many ways make home-based ECE a more attractive option to parents as it gives them confidence to choose home-based for all of its benefits knowing that they can have confidence in consistent and high quality outcomes for their children.”
The Ministry of Education downgraded more than 300 early childhood education centres across NZ in 2017 and 2018 after identifying operational problems.
The safety of children in early childhood settings is an operational priority and recent media coverage on accidents and oversights is a timely reminder to review health and safety obligations.
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