A Colourful Start at Home
A Botany In Home Educator’s culturally diverse childcare programme is proving very popular with families around the Auckland region.
Nimmi Chhabra’s house is becoming an attraction for families as the PORSE in Home Educator offers a unique point of difference where children indulge in a range of cultural activities.
“Hindi culture is all about relationships, being together for emotional support and putting others before yourself. In many ways, it’s a lot like my PORSE work. I’m very passionate about kids, they can see the warmth and motherly love I have. I feel like they are my kids and I’m their mother.”
Mrs Chhaba says she was lucky to have a fortunate childhood growing up in Delhi and, after marrying her Indian husband back in India, she moved to Auckland to settle with him in Botany 12 years ago - soon after arriving she became a PORSE in Home Educator.
The devoted mother of two says their culture is still extremely important to them although she admits she is ‘more Kiwi now’.
Hindu festivals ‘Navratra’ and ‘Diwali’ are an opportunity for Nimmi to share her cultural values with her PORSE children and they enjoy dressing up and cooking authentic food.
"Diwali or the Festival of Lights, is held in the Indian New Year. We celebrate by decorating the house with lights and colourful decorations and the entrance with Diwali artwork or ‘rangoli’ and distributing sweets among friends and family.”
Bonds with Nimmi’s PORSE children have always been strong, none more so than with Alexsandra van Tonder who is now at school but Alexsandra started with Nimmi when she was 5 months old.
Since leaving, her mother Lee Ann has been blown away by the reports her daughter has had from her teachers.
“When Alexsandra started school we were amazed at just how well she managed with settling in and coping with the work. Being part of an in-home childcare programme, meant she had more one-on-one time to practice her writing and reading skills before school.”
Exposing Alexsandra to different cultures from a young age has been humbling for the South African-born mother.
“Alexsandra has been fortunate enough to grow up in a country that has many cultures. Being in Nimmi’s care taught her to embrace, respect and understand other cultures. As young as she may be, this has become an important part of who Alexsandra is today and will be in the future.
“She’s become a more sociable, empathetic and confident girl who was shown a lot of love and respect from Nimmi. I feel it is because of that, she is able to give the same love and respect to others,” says Mrs Van Tonder.
“It is important to broaden children's views and developmental skills to make it easier for them to adjust everywhere. The world is not small anymore, kids travel to learn and have to be adaptable to, and accepting of, different cultures.”