PORSE welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the home-based early childhood education review findings released earlier this week by Minister of Education Chris Hipkins.
As the largest provider in the country with over 23 years’ of experience in the home-based early learning sector, PORSE In-Home Childcare has been built with a focus on high quality outcomes for children. This is achieved through authentic relationships and experiences in a settled home environment.
One of the key proposals introduced as a part of the review is the requirement that all home educators have at least a Level 4 qualification in early learning. PORSE has a strong focus on curriculum delivery and support, making significant investment in educator training and workforce development. This includes offering their Educators free on the job training to support them to gain early childhood qualifications.
Education and Training General Manager, Erin Maloney, sees this review as an opportunity to engage in a conversation around quality and what it looks like in the home-based sector.
“Research shows that there are a number of quality indicators in early learning, with qualifications and ongoing professional learning and development one of these. Others include low adult to child ratios, settled home environments, one on one attention for each child and nurturing relationships.
“We have always advocated for high quality outcomes for our children, with targeted fit for purpose training offered to all PORSE Educators. To support this, we have a dedicated education and training arm that offers free online training at Level 4 for all PORSE Educators. This has always been a focus for us and an ingrained part of our philosophy when it comes to supporting the development of a workforce and high quality education and care outcomes for children.”
Some of the other proposals introduced by Government for consultation include a focus on Educator working conditions and funding, the role of the Visiting Teacher and frequency of visits and health and safety. These proposals set out to define a new landscape for the delivery of home-based early childhood education and care in New Zealand.
Mrs Maloney believes that, given the scope of the review and number of proposals, there is a lot of opportunity now to actively consult with the sector. This will ensure decisions made are based on a sound understanding of the sector while also supporting future growth and development of the home-based service type.
“As noted in the Cabinet Paper, a number of these proposals have particular implications for children and their families. Every effort must be made to minimise disruption when making decisions and implementing change. There is no regulatory impact analysis yet, which means that range of possible options for addressing the identified issues have not been fully canvassed. We’re keen to engage more with Government to support this analysis.
“Given our focus on education and training, what we know first-hand is how much of an investment is required to support quality. We’re keen to understand more about how the Government are going to support the sector to achieve the benchmarks that the proposals put forward around minimum qualifications and delivery standards. This includes making sure that Government funding reflects the investment providers are expected to make in high quality outcomes.”