The first time I left my eighteen-month-old daughter with her childminder, I struggled to the car choking back the sobs; she, on the other hand, merrily modelled playdoh with her new friends. Four years on and it was my second daughter’s turn: again mum blubbing and daughter blithely waving bye-bye and heading to the mud kitchen.
Choosing the right childcare is a difficult choice. But for children it can be a wonderful experience: time to socialise with their age-group, to role-play and make friends; time to explore new toys; time to form attachments with other adults, adults who can sit and play with them one-to-one without worrying about the laundry or the washing-up.
Childcare In Home is a great option for younger children and babies. Being in a cosy house around fewer children makes it easier to settle in and create attachments to the adults in charge. A relaxed brain, free from stress, is a brain that develops, learns and reaches its full potential. One of NZ’s best known and oldest In Home childcare providers is PORSE.
Highly-trained Educators look after small groups of up to four children, or two for under-twos, in their own home. With twenty years experience and research to draw on, they are taught to focus on the importance of quality relationships and a child’s security which enhances early brain development and lifelong learning. They do this through a unique programme of activities, craft and play ideas.
Fondly known as Kindy, Kindergarten literally means ‘Children’s Garden’ in German so the idea of free, outdoor play is hardwired into its very name. For older, preschool children it’s a great stepping-stone from cosy In Home childcare to the more formal setup of school.
As Auckland Kindergarten Association’s website puts it so beautifully: “It’s a magical place for young minds bristling with excitement full of imagination and possibility.”
AKA have over 100 centers throughout the city offering early childhood education for 2- to 5- year-olds based on a philosophy of learning through play. Teachers are professionally qualified, 20-hours ECE is accepted and carers can choose between school hours or sessional.