Some home-based ECE providers have grown rapidly and hold multiple licences across the country. One of the larger providers has more than 60 licences. Each of these licences can have up to 80 children, plus their educators, coordinators and the educators’ or children’s homes.
At present there is no limit on the number of educators that a coordinator can have oversight of. If each educator in a home-based service had only one child attending, there could be between 60 and 80 educators in a service. This means some coordinators may have a large workload, and in some cases might struggle to meet their requirements.
There is an inconsistency between the licence maximum number of children (80) for home-based services (and 60 for those services with the quality funding rate) and the ratio of one coordinator to 50 children. Due to this discrepancy, a provider holding one standard licence at maximum capacity would need two coordinators. This makes the ratio one coordinator to 40 children. This inconsistency has caused confusion in the home-based sector.
A coordinator to educator ratio would allow for less variability between the number of educators a coordinator is responsible for. It may also strengthen the expectation of providing leadership to educators and help achieve quality learning outcomes for children.
One coordinator would be also responsible for a licence of up to 60 children. A service could therefore have up to 15 educators and 60 children. Even though there could be more children, there would be a fixed number of educators, which would enable greater planning of coordinator visits.
The alternative of one coordinator to 50 children, and a licence maximum of 50 children, would align the licence maximum with the current coordinator to 50 children ratio. It would remove the confusion that currently exists with the current licence maximums of 60 children and 80 children.
This means service providers must apply to amend their licence to add or remove educators from a licence. The Ministry does not currently hold information on educators, or which licences educators are attached to. Because educators are the people delivering ECE on a daily basis, it is important that we collect this information.
Listing coordinators on licences would provide the Ministry with information about coordinators and the licences they are responsible for. This information would also help us to better understand the coordinator workforce.
We are seeking your views about the proposed changes to ratios and the licence or service size, as well as the proposals to list educators and coordinators on the licence.
How would the proposed ratio change from educators to coordinator, rather than children, impact on your service?