FAQs

What training and experience does my Educator have?

Our educators have a range of experience and training and unique skills to offer, they all share a love of children. Many of our educators are parents themselves. A large number of educators have several years’ teaching experience and qualifications such as a Diploma of Early Childhood Education or Playcentre training. Others have recently begun their career.

As a minimum requirement Pioneers Home-based Educators must hold or be studying towards a level 4 Certificate in Early Childhood Education through the Open Polytechnic of NZ. Educators are able to complete this qualification while working in the role. Pioneers provide support by paying the fees and through the Visiting Teacher mentoring programme.

How do I choose an Educator?

A Visiting Teacher will assist you to find the best match for you and your family. Our Visiting Teachers are early childhood qualified and registered teachers who regularly visit and support educators as they work with children in their homes. They know each of the educators personally and have a good understanding of their teaching style and particular skills.

A Visiting Teacher will meet with you in your own home to get to know you and your child and learn more about your early childhood requirements. They will discuss specific needs such as whether or not you are happy for your child to be in a home with pets.

You will also have the opportunity to meet a selection of educators so you can choose just the right person. With 40 Home-based educators through out Dunedin and each with something special to offer, we feel confident that we can match your whanau with just the right educator.

Who else will my child spend time with?

As well as the educator, your child may spend time with members of the educator’s family, other educators and the children in their care. They will see Visiting Teachers regularly and will meet with other children on group outings such as to playgroup.

What will my child be doing and how will I know?

Our educators provide an exciting curriculum designed to suit the children’s specific strengths and interests.  As well as facilities available in their own homes – such as lovely outdoor play areas and vege gardens – our educators use the local community for experiences such as nature walks, physical activity, meeting and interacting with other young children at music, gym and bike groups. 

After a busy morning of activities, younger children can enjoy nap time while older children can settle down for a story, arts and crafts or fun learning experiences.

As well as a daily catch up at drop off and pick up, you’ll be able to keep fully up to date through your child’s portfolio. This includes their artwork and photos and descriptions of all the learning experiences they have been involved in. This fabulous memento of your child’s early childhood is also a useful tool for sharing learning goals and outcomes.  Your educator may also be using Storypark eportfolio which you will be able to share electronically with your family and friends.  Visiting Teachers add to this portfolio and educators really value parents’ input.

How are homes kept safe for my child?

Pioneers have rigorous health and safety checks in place to ensure all educators’ homes meet the Early Childhood Regulations and all homes are checked regularly by Visiting Teachers.

Can I choose the hours I want?

Yes. Again, this is part of the matching process, finding an educator who is able to match your family’s requirements. Pioneers’ policy requires that you enrol for a minimum of 12 hours per week.

What is the cost and can I get a WINZ subsidy or 20 hours free ECE?

Yes and yes! All three and four year olds enrolled with Pioneers are able to access the Ministry of Education 20 hours ECE and WINZ funding. See fees page for details.

How can I be assured my child will be receiving the very best education and care?

Like all early childhood licensed services, Pioneers Home-based is reviewed by the Education Review Office. Our recent review in 2015 rated us "very well placed", the very best rating you can get from ERO! Check out what they had to say about us  (Note, Pioneers is our new name, when we were reviewed our home-based service had a different name under Dunedin Community Childcare Association.)

Becoming an Educator

Interested in becoming an Educator?