The thought of searching for suitable daycare can be a daunting and often overwhelming experience for parents of new-borns. Where do you begin?
You may find yourself a little lost in the search. How will I pay for it? Which type of childcare is suitable for our child? In effect you are trying to find the perfect balance between juggling your working hours, with searching for the perfect daycare provider suitable to your needs as a family and for your child.
Firstly, you will be relieved to know, there are lots of different options for parents when considering daycare in New Zealand – specifically Auckland.
The New Zealand government offers a programme called Early Childhood Education (ECE), this provides children under 6 with a platform to access government approved educational opportunities.
These arrive in various forms:
Teacher-led – meaning 50% of the adults who care for and educate children in these settings are required to be certified Early Childcare Education teachers. These settings are licenced by the government and are required to meet the standards in relation to the welfare and development of the children – in areas such as health and safety, staff and care programmes.
Parent-led – these offer a family orientated structure inside settings such as playcentres or halls within the community. They cater for children from birth to school age and are run by parents and member families. These operate with the family at the centre and allow parents to become involved within their local community as well as directly educating and caring for their own children. It can improve their confidence with parenting, as well as help them connect with like-minded people to build on their social structure.
Playgroups which are also are run by parents and community volunteers offer regular 4-hour sessions from birth to school age. To be called a playgroup, more than 50% of the children who attend are required to have a parent with them. These are not licenced, but all staff are trained and supported from the Ministry of Education. In order to be receive government funding, these settings are required to be certified.
Home-based education and care – Groups of up to 4 children who are educated in a home-based setting such at the educator’s home or the child’s home. All educators are required to be registered to a home-based service.
For a more personalised approach to day care, a nanny is a great option. Your child will receive consistent 1-1 care and attention and will can be in the comfort of a homely environment.
Early learning centres, playgroups from birth to pre-school – including Montessori Options in Auckland can be found here.
Auckland Childcare, Day Care FAQs
What age should babies go to nursery?
In New Zealand, babies can attend nursery from birth, but it is widely acknowledged that a baby’s first 6 months are critical in striking that bond with their parents. There is no set number, but a baby who attends nursery from 6 months would be a good point in time to start thinking about if you have no other choice.
What age do you start kindergarten in New Zealand?
Most Kindergarten’s in New Zealand accept children between 2 and 5 years old.
How much does day care cost in NZ?
Unfortunately, New Zealand has some of the highest daycare costs within the developed world. ECE Kindergarten’s can typically cost $5-$6 per hour and home-based care can start around $4-$5. But remember, in large towns and cities, expect to pay more due to higher demand. A Nanny is a premium, personal service, so expect to pay around $15-$20 per hour – but remember – they may also carry out some valuable light housework for you – saving you time and money.
How much is the 20 hours ECE subsidy?
20 hours ECE is a higher funding subsidy by the New Zealand government, and therefore if your child is 3,4 or 5 and attends an ECE registered setting that offers 20 hours ECE, you will be fully entitled to be subsidised for up to 6 hours a day and up to 20 hours per week. You have no pressure to use all your 20 hours and have the freedom to use as much or as little as you wish. You can enrol your child once they hit 3,4, or 5 years old and must be agreed at registration at your specific childcare setting.