Myths about in-home childcare

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.

author robynWritten 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.”


  1. dawnblyth 02/06/2019 at 9:20 pm

    I think the relationship that an au pair would build with your children and selves would be invaluable and life long. Having another adult around the house would also be comforting – knowing you have the support there.

  2. SarahBlair 02/06/2019 at 7:28 pm

    My sister had an Au Pair and she was fantastic! She became close to our whole family and was loved by my niece and nephew, the only downside was how my niece grieved for her when she had to go home to Germany

  3. candyjanenz 02/06/2019 at 3:44 pm

    An Au Pair would get to know your family really well and would be able to take your children out to fun activities. I like the kindy we have but it would to have a Au Pair to help on family outings and holidays.

  4. kymmage 01/06/2019 at 12:59 pm

    It really depends on your home based carer. I have used home based for my babies. We have had 3 different carers. Some would go to every play group, some didn’t go out at all. Some were interested in the latest styles for teaching. Some weren’t at all, and were quite traditional. Some listened and communicated well. Some didn’t. You have to find a fit that works for you.

  5. Alezandra 29/05/2019 at 9:44 pm

    My son goes to an in-home carer part of the week based on the recommendation of his kindergarten head teacher. I didn’t really knew any of the myths stated in the article and when I heard that in-home carer would accept 20 ECE hours, and also part of St. Barnardos. I was willing to try and I’m glad we did as his in-home carer does a good job.

  6. MuddledUpMolly 28/05/2019 at 5:44 pm

    I have a few friends who have used in home care and swear by it! As an ECE teacher by trade, I am not really a fan though. I prefer larger, more social settings for my children. There are plenty of options available to young children and it is great that this is one too!

  7. Mands1980 28/05/2019 at 2:54 pm

    When my kids were little I looked into having an au pair and know lots of people who did. It’s good to know they are being looked after well in (NZ). Some au pairs don’t work out though as well as they get very home sick being away from there own countries. But you can make life long friendships as well.

  8. Shorrty4life1 26/05/2019 at 9:03 pm

    This is interesting. I know a lady that does porse in home childcare and would bend over backwards for anyone. She was such a lovely lady. The main thing I’d like about au pair is that they do st john’s so they are fully trained and equipped Incase of any emergency. And it seems to be a big firm in our days too so it’s very legit.

  9. Micht 23/05/2019 at 4:28 pm

    Very interesting to note these things, i must admit, i have had these hung ups myself which is why i didnt use this option…but good info to know an pass on.

  10. Bevik1971 22/05/2019 at 10:16 am

    When my son was growing up I worked full time from when he was about 4 months old – I was a single Mum and he was in full time daycare until he reached about 3 years and then was in Kindy and part time home based care. I found it really great, she was lovely and my son really enjoyed it 🙂

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