FAQ Home Based Education

What is home based education?

How to choose an educator?

Where is my local home based educator?

What are the hours?

What ages do home based education cater for?

What do children learn?

What does it cost?

How does the 20 Hours Free ECE Scheme work?

How do I enrol my child?

What will my child need to take?

Do children need to be toilet trained?

Should I bring my child if they are sick?

What is the policy on food allergies?

What food should I bring for my child?

How do I become an educator?

What is home based education?

Home based education provides a nurturing learning environment that is based in a home setting.

Home based education provides more one on one personal attention from an educator and children benefit from being part of a small group (no larger than four children). 

Our educators provide a warm, friendly and caring environment that allows children to explore the world in a safe home based setting. 

Home based education supports children in developing important life skills.

How to choose an educator?

Our educators offer a range of skills, experience, interests and expertise.  They are individually police vetted, referee checked and hold a first aid certificate.

We recommend you visit a few educators to see who fits best for your children’s needs and interests. This will be arranged for you with our Home Based Coordinators.

To find your local home based educators click here.

Where is my local home based educator?

We have a range of home based educator's across the greater Bay of Plenty.  Find your local home based educator here and pop in and say hello! 

What are the hours?

Hours vary per home based educator.  Please discuss your needs directly with the home based team on  0800 250 052 extn 3 or homebased@ikindergartens.nz

What ages do home based education cater for?

Home based education can cater for babies to school age.  Home based educators take up to 4 children so we recommend enrolling your child as early as possible.

What do children learn?

Children will learn and develop:

  • Develop early numeracy, literacy and science skills
  • Feel confident about who they are and develop responsibility and a sense of independence
  • Develop effective communication skills
  • Be creative and expressive through activities such as painting, music, collage, movement, dance, finger painting, drawing, cutting, pasting and story sharing
  • Build friendships with other children and relationships with their educator
  • Develop fine motor skills e.g. writing, cutting and grasping pencils
  • Experiment with sand and water
  • Learn about limits, boundaries, routines and tools for conflict resolution
  • Participate in gross motor play e.g. climbing, throwing, kicking, balancing and lifting
  • Persevere, problem-solve and take risks
  • Learn through trial and error
  • Explore through experimenting, questioning and curiosity
  • Develop confidence and celebrate their attempts and successes
  • Have fun and develop a passion for learning.

What does it cost?

Home based education is a popular service because of their affordable rates and flexible hours.

The Ministry of Education provides 20 free hours of early childhood education a week for children over 3 years of age.

The home based rate is $5.60 per hour per child.  Casual or occasional care rates are available on request.  

Transport rate is $0.62 per km.  Please note this fee applies to all families/whānau requiring transport to and from the educator’s home.

WINZ subsidies are available.  Whānau care rates (a child in the care of an extended family member) are available (conditions apply).

For more information please contact the home based team on 0800 250 052 extn 3 or homebased@ikindergartens.nz

How does the 20 Hours Free ECE scheme work?

The government pays for all children over 3 years of age, to receive 20 hours a week of free early childhood education.

This scheme is available for everyone, regardless of whether you work or how much you earn.  You can choose to use as many or as few hours of 20 Hours ECE as you want, up to 6 hours a day and 20 hours a week. 

There is a small charge for every hour over and above the 20 hours ECE.  Please contact the home based team for a complete fee structure on 0800 250 052 extn 3 or homebased@ikindergartens.nz

Find out more about the 20 hours ECE scheme on the Ministry of Education website.

How do I enrol my child?

Please contact the home based team on 0800 250 052 extn 3 or homebased@ikindergartens.nz
to discuss your needs and current educator availability.  Educator’s welcome visits and are happy to answer any questions.

You can then complete an enrolment form either onsite or take it home to complete.  The coordinator and educator will discuss your child’s needs and answer any queries you have. 

The coordinator will then contact you when a space is available and arrange a suitable start date.

What will my child need to take?

Each day your child will need to bring:

  • A spare set of named clothes
  • A sun hat in the summer months
  • Bottle/s of milk or formula if required
  • Nappies if required
  • A small lunch box with healthy food/kai and a drink bottle
  • A bag with your child’s name clearly printed
  • Any other items that are part of your local Educator’s daily routine.

Do children need to be toilet trained?

No.  If your child is still toilet training just let the educator know. We find that coming to home based education helps children to learn this skill quickly. Here are some toilet training tips to help with this process.

Should I bring my child if they are sick?

If your child is feeling unwell or displaying any of the symptoms below, we ask that they remain away from their Home Based Educator and return 48 hours after the final symptom. 

In particular, watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • A high temperature
  • An unidentified rash
  • Conjunctivitis (unless medical treatment has been applied for at least 24 hours)
  • Any other symptoms of a contagious illness
  • Head lice (after treatment).

If you are unsure about whether your child can attend, please discuss with the educator.

Ministry of Health Infectious Diseases Chart (which includes exclusion from school) click here or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

What is the policy on food allergies?

Occasionally, we have children with severe food allergies.  If you have any queries, please talk to the educator.

What food should I bring for my child?

Please bring a small lunchbox with healthy food / kai for your child. You may wish to limit waste with ‘litterless lunchboxes’ that have enough compartments to keep various snacks separate and clean.    

Fresh water is available at all times for children to drink.

How do I become an Educator?

We would love to hear from you about becoming an educator.  Please contact the home based team on 0800 250 052 extn 3 or homebased@ikindergartens.nz for more information.