Marching into a Childcare Career with PORSE

The New Zealand army’s first Maori female major has marched confidently into a new career with the country’s leading in-home childcare provider.

Carol Tarrant spent 20 years in the army with one career highlight including a tour to Singapore where she was in charge of withdrawing the New Zealand Defence Forces out of South East Asia. However the military officer wanted to spend more time with her own children so she became an in-home educator with PORSE, New Zealand’s leading in-home childcare provider.

“I had both my children while I was in the Army but I knew I couldn’t soldier on as a professional officer and be a full-time Mum, so I left and started in-home childcare. I’ve always loved kids and figured if I had my own children at home why not have a few more and make a career out of it.”

Ms Tarrant says she feels very fulfilled working closely with children.

“I’m so passionate about children’s learning and ensuring they can learn in a safe, nurturing environment, but I also really believe in the home-based childcare model. There’s a magic to the one on one connections I have with my children.”

Her approach to childcare couldn’t be more different from her regimented army persona, but it did teach her two things: organisation and the importance of ‘having a plan B’.

“I used to be extremely disciplined with time, but working with pre-schoolers has certainly mellowed me.39 Porse Carol Tarrant 3Mar2015

“It’s still a military operation going out but I guess I know a thing or two about logistics. I’m now far more relaxed and know that no two days will be the same.”

The 54 year old runs a practical based PORSE programme where children are taught life skills with a focus on social competence.

“I love taking the children out and about and seeing them experience different learning environments in the community. This broadens their horizons and draws out their personalities.”

The former Army major keeps her pint-sized troops in line with her trademark good humour and enjoys getting their ‘atten-TION’ by incorporating her own Maori culture into her programme.

“I love teaching the children Maori waiata and numeracy and little catch phrases like ‘horoi ō ringaringa’ – which means wash your hands, it’s so cute when you hear the littlies impersonate me at meal time by saying ‘hoi a inga inga everybody’.

“It’s also a great way to get the kids eating their crusts, I took them to the Waka Ama (Outrigger Canoe) – National Competition on Lake Karapiro, and when we got home I cut their sandwiches into waka shapes and used the crusts as paddles. They gobbled them up and couldn’t get enough hoe (paddles)!” jokes Carol.

PORSE provides all educators and parents with free nationally recognised training programmes to learn more about early brain development and secure attachment relationships.

In home educators are independent contractors who benefit from PORSE providing optional full administration of family payments, access to tax benefits and ongoing support in setting up special terms and conditions with families.