As you look for a childcare option that works for your family you will come across different options including preschools, babysitters, and in-home childcare options that include nannies and au pairs.
Everyone you speak with will have their own reckons on the pros and cons of childcare, and often share information that they truly believe, however it is in fact a myth.
Here we dispel some of the common myths about in-home childcare options such as home-based care, nannies or au pairs.
Myth #1 – Anyone can be an in-home carer
If you have someone looking after your child you want to be sure of the quality of care and education they will provide your child.
The provision of home-based care is covered under New Zealand law so any licenced service provider must meet minimum standards of care and education. Check with your prospective Educator that they are licenced.
Myth #2 – My child will not receive a quality early childhood education
The Education Act 1989 covers the provision of home-based education or care ‘for gain or reward’ so licenced providers will have a care and education programme that they will implement for your 5 years and under child.
Your carer will develop a learning programme especially for your child that takes into account their age, development and interests. They will receive on-going training and support from their agency, and often have a will also be able to access further resources.
Myth #3 – My child will be socially isolated
In-home childcare and education agencies provide their carers (and the children) with plenty of opportunities for socialising including playgroups and outings.
In addition, you are able to combine care options and use a mixture of in-home care and centre based care if you wish.
Myth #4 – In-home childcare is expensive
Prior to starting school, every New Zealand child aged between 3 and 6 qualifies for 20 hours of subsidised early childhood education (ECE) services per week. This applies if your child is in a licenced in-home childcare programme. In addition, you may qualify for OSCAR and Work and Income childcare. These are means tested and depend on your family’s circumstances.
Myth #5 – Using in-home childcare is a paperwork nightmare
If you are employing a carer direct, you are in effect their employer and so you can be faced with a huge amount of administration with no guaranteed outcome.
Using an in-home employment agency means you can leave all the paperwork to them! They have all the systems and processes set up to ensure that au pairs have experience, are suitable to care for children, have the right documentation, and are paid accurately. They sort out the PAYE, ACC and leave records. They will also organise to receive the 20 hours ECE, OSCAR or childcare subsidies that you are eligible for.
Au Pair Link take all of their au pairs on a three day orientation where they learn child first aid (through St John), theoretical driving lessons, culture shock, along with childhood education and behaviour management strategies. They provide playgroups, exclusive outings, education resources and organise au pair trips away too! Your family will be allocated your own qualified ECE teacher who will meet with you, your children and your au pair on a monthly basis to ensure everything is going well. They will be on-hand 24/7 for guidance and support.
They help with settling your au pair into the New Zealand way of life, provide you with support and mediation. They can help place another au pair with you should your first choice not work out.
Written by Robyn Taylor for Au Pair Link
Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments.
Favourite motto to live by: “This too will pass.”