February 20, 2019
Home educators to shape up or ship out
The Government is moving to rein in the home early childhood care sector, requiring home-based educators to become qualified.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins says it's the fastest growing part of the early learning sector, receiving over $150 million each year in public funding.
More than 18,000 children received education and care from a home-based educator in 2018, a 65 percent increase since 2007.
Mr Hipkins says while educators and parents praise the family feel home-based learning provides, with small groups and close relationships, the government has also heard concerns about inconsistent quality across the sector, due in part to inadequate oversight.
The Government has decided to make a level 4 Early Childhood Education certificate the minimum qualification for home-based educators.
Te Ara Tuarua, the Level 5 kohanga reo qualification, will also be recognised as an equivalent qualification for funding purposes and is seen as an important step towards providing more opportunities to use te reo Māori across the wider early learning sector.
Other decisions coming out of the review of the home-based early childhood education are:
– strengthened oversight through a beefed-up ‘visiting teacher’ role;
– Giving the Education Review Office the power to enter homes where home-based early childhood education is taking place; and
– More explicit requirements on service providers to provide health and safety training and professional development for educators.
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