In 1987, when the Association was established (then called the New Zealand Family Day Care Association), Home-based childcare services were few but fast-growing.
Those of us working in the sector knew the benefits that education and care in small groups and a home-based setting have on a child’s development. At that time, however, the services we offered were termed ‘family day care’, and came under the remit of the Department of Social Welfare.
The Association was formed to bring those working in the Home-based childcare sector together, and to support them with advocacy, professional development.
In the 1990’s, Prime Minister David Lange commissioned the ‘Before Five’ report into Early Childhood Education (ECE). As a result of this report, Home-based care became a recognised and regulated ECE service in 1992. It was granted chartering rights and funding became available from the Ministry of Education, similar to that given centre-based childcare services.
In the early 90’s, there were around 40 networks throughout the country. Today, there are more than 300 – and still growing. In fact, in the past 15 years, Home-based childcare networks have increased by over 500%.
We have always been an incorporated society or non-profit organisation, one which does not represent any one service but rather the viewpoints of all those that provide, work in or use home-based childcare.
Today, our members include educators, caregivers, nannies, parents, coordinators, administrators, managers and home-based services.
The Association membership is divided geographically into seven regional groups, each having an elected chair responsible to report back to our elected board members.
We advocate for the promotion of Home-based education and care in New Zealand as a quality early childhood option.
Wards meet regularly to discuss matters pertaining to the sector, provide collegial support, networking and professional development.
The main aims of NZ Home-based ECE Association are to enhance the professional status of Home-based childcare throughout New Zealand, to advocate for the home-based childcare sector, to liaise with government, to foster education and support programmes within home-based childcare and to provide a united voice from the home-based sector on relevant social issues.
The Association has membership on ECAC (Early Childhood Advisory Committee), the committee that advises the Ministry of Education on changes to legislation policies and practice within the Ministry and other departments who provide resources or services to the Early Childhood Sector (such as Work and Income).
The Association is also a member of New Zealand’s Early Education Federation which influences, lobbies for, and promotes quality early childhood education in general. We are also active members of the International Family Day Care Organisation.
Some of our successes:
- We worked closely with the Ministry of Education to develop the guiding document Quality Journey (He Haerenga Whai Hua) as well as Teaching, Learning and Development Indicators for Home-Based Services.
- We worked with the IRD for over two years, putting forth our contention that Educators are individual contractors working in their homes, and therefore are not Employees who should be included in a PAYE regime. This was accepted and a new Tax determination created - DET 09/02.
- In 2003, we were instrumental in the creation of a new policy that allows an Educator who is on a WINZ Benefit to keep all or a significant portion of their benefit as an individual contractor.
- Also in 2003, the International Family Day Care Conference was organised by the Association and hosted here in New Zealand, with delegates from around the world.
- Since the early 2000’s, we have lead and participated in ongoing discussions regarding Strategic Plan implementations for Home Based Services with the Ministry of Education
- We have worked closely with the Education Review Office (ERO) to ensure the special nature of home-based care is recognised, and to provide training resources and review material for ERO reviewers.
- We have worked with the Teachers Council (the Teacher Registration Board) on a number of policies to benefit our members, including improving the police-vetting and enabling coordinators to maintain or gain teacher registration.
- In 2010, we negotiated and implemented significant group scheme insurance packages to benefit our members - including health, income protection, fire and general and business interruption covers.
- Most recently, we worked with The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand to develop new training for Home-based educators – The Certificate in Early Childhood Practice Level 4. Our individual members can gain this qualification for only $200, a saving of over $600!