New proposals for home-based early childhood education

  • Hon Chris Hipkins

The Government is seeking feedback on proposed changes to home-based early childhood education, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

Home-based early childhood education is the fastest growing part of the early learning sector, and has changed significantly since it was first regulated in the early 1990s.  In 2017, home-based early childhood education services received around $156 million in government funding, and 18,440 children attended a home-based service.

“The proposed changes aim to lift quality and make sure government funding is used as intended, to support education and care,” Chris Hipkins said. 

“For example, home-based educators are not currently required to hold a relevant qualification.  One of the proposals is for home-based educators to have at least a level 4 qualification in early learning.”

Other suggested changes include:

  • requirement for educators to have better pay and conditions
  • parents being more informed about the level of government funding being provided for their child
  • coordinators (also known as visiting teachers) make more frequent visits to the educators they are supervising
  • coordinators and educators have health and safety training.

The proposed changes are outlined in a discussion document developed by the Ministry of Education, following engagement with key stakeholders and other government agencies. 

“The way home-based early childhood education is managed and regulated has a direct impact on children, their parents and whānau, as well as educators and service providers.  

“Public feedback on the proposals will be carefully considered before any decisions are made.  We need to be sure that home-based early childhood education supports good outcomes for children,” Chris Hipkins said.

Options for providing feedback include an online survey and regional hui. Consultation is open until 24 September 2018. 

Notes to editor –