Children need nurturing, loving relationships in the early years of life to flourish. The most natural setting to foster this is the home, with mum or dad. However, the world is changing, and many mums and dads need to work. That’s why PORSE created a Natural Childcare solution, based on providing children with authentic relationships, environments and experiences - parenting as nature intended.
Natural Childcare comes from one-on-one, responsive relationships that provide children with consistency and a go-to person. These relationships are built on providing emotional availability, attentiveness and time to each individual child. Science shows that for children’s brains to make the positive connections that build social-skills and resilience, these relationships are essential. Lisa Pesulima, an Educator with PORSE, has watched children flourish while in her care. “I have been looking after twins since they were six-months-old and they are 18-months now. I have watched them go from rolling to walking and learning to talk.” The twins have also picked up the odd Dutch word or two from Lisa.
“They are becoming more and more confident with each leap and it is beautiful to see. The wonder with how they look at every object and how it works is truly amazing.” Lisa had always wanted to work alongside children but chose a different career path when younger and went travelling. After coming back from visiting family in Holland, she decided to pursue a career in early childhood education. “A friend told me about PORSE. After looking in to what PORSE does and seeing all the opportunities they have on offer for Educators to learn and grow alongside working with children, I was sold.” Educators and Nannies with PORSE receive free NZQA training, ongoing one-on-one support, flexibility to set their own hours and prices, the ability to work from home, the chance to maintain their current teaching registration (if applicable) and more time and flexibility with their own children.
Lisa says she treats the children in her care like her own so that they always feel loved and nurtured.“All the children I look after or have looked after really become a part of our family and do not only form a bond with me but also with my daughter Nora and my partner.” Lisa says. When a child spends regular time with someone else, whether they are a grandparent, Educator or Nanny, they will form a secondary attachment to them. Attachment relationships anchor children’s learning, development, exploration and sense of self.
Natural Childcare replicates the comfort and security of home, as well as the routines and values that are built there. These environments allow children space and time to be themselves, rather than forcing them to fit in. The children in Lisa’s care treat her place like a second home, they’re happy and content because it is a familiar setting for them. As it’s such an intimate group there is no need for the children to vie for attention. “It's beautiful to experience their development up close, so you can really plan for and anticipate each individual child’s needs,” Lisa says.
If a child has an off-day, Lisa avoids going to busy playgrounds or community groups, choosing instead to stay at home. “We just have quiet play, or we read a book. All the children I look after love to read and they often make their way over to me with their favourite book and ask me to read it over and over.”
Providing these environments is especially important during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, as young brains need calm and familiar surroundings to learn and grow.
Natural Childcare also allows parents to be involved in their child’s learning and development in a meaningful way, providing an extension of what happens at home. Being able to work from home also gives Lisa the opportunity to spend time with our her daughter.
Natural Childcare provides real-world interaction and public outings, in a safe and supportive environment, with a person they trust. These experiences are learning opportunities, catered to each child’s interests. Palmerston North Educator Bridget Lyons enjoys the spontaneity that comes with caring for children in a home-based environment as she can shape her days around the children’s interests. A chat about the weather was the spring-board to a trip to Bunnings to buy sunflower and watercress seeds. As an Educator, Bridget is always on-hand to guide children in their interaction with others and support their development.
YOUR CHILDCARE CHECKLIST
This list will help you work out what qualities you want (and don’t want) in an early childcare provider. There are many options such as home-based care, centres, kohanga, playgroups and kindergartens. Their philosophies differ so this will help you work out what's important:
- What routines and learning opportunities will the provider offer your child?
- What are their facilities like? Is it clean? Do they have lots of interesting resources?
- How will the providers model of care fit with your family situation?
- What happens if your child is sick? How is sick defined?
- How much individual attention will your child get?
- Ask providers if your child will have a go-to person they will know and feel reassured by.
- Turn up to providers unannounced and get a real feel for what it's like there. 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 workers (staff who are rotated around nappies, outdoor play, etc.) Observe how children are supported to learn through play and exploration by staff.
- Ask about staff turnover and how often relief staff need to be used.
- Ask about the provider's childcare philosophies. What are they? How do they live by them?
- What is the adult to child ratio? One adult to four children is a good ratio according to research.
- Will your child's dietary/health care requirements be met in a manner you are happy with?
- What are the sleeping conditions like? Will your child have their own bed and get enough sleep?
If you’re in need of a Natural Childcare solution, we can help. Call us today on 0800 023 456.