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What is happening now?

What is the problem?

Home-based ECE is classed as a teacher-led service.  The person responsible (the coordinator) must be a certificated teacher who is an ECE qualified and registered teacher.  The coordinator is the only qualified person required to be in an educator’s home on a regular basis under the current regulations.  Coordinators provide an important role in ensuring the quality of home-based ECE.

The coordinator has three main responsibilities:

  • Primary responsibility for overseeing the education and care, comfort, and health and safety of the children
  • Primary responsibility for providing professional leadership and support to educators within the home-based service
  • Supervising children and educators at all times while children attend the home-based service.  Coordinators cannot supervise more than 50 children and their educators at any one time.

To meet these responsibilities, the coordinator must contact each educator once per fortnight, and visit the educator at least once a month.  During these visits, they must take all reasonable steps to observe the child while the child is receiving education and care.

What is the problem?

The coordinator is expected to provide professional leadership and support to educators, but is not required to have any experience coaching or teaching adults.  The expectations for the coordinator’s role are open to interpretation, which could be leading to inconsistent practice. 

Coordinators also have health and safety responsibilities, but are only required to visit educators once a month to cover both their health and safety and curriculum and teaching oversight responsibilities.

Research indicates that more frequent visits (between once a week to once every 2.5 weeks) are significantly associated with higher quality education and care.[5]

Some larger service providers with multiple licences operate a roster system where the coordinator is moved between licences, leading to situations where an educator may have contact with a variety of coordinators.  This means that the same coordinator may not be consistently supporting the same educators and overseeing the same children.  This is a problem because research suggests that, in conjunction with more frequent visits, quality increased further with continuity of support by one educator, amongst other factors.

What changes are we proposing and why?

  • Change the title of coordinator to visiting teacher to better reflect the role.

Coordinators must be certificated teachers that are ECE qualified.  Renaming the role should help to strengthen their role as teachers.

  • Better articulate the role of the coordinator to include:
    • An explicit emphasis and guidance on providing training to educators.
    • A requirement to have experience assisting educators/teachers to work with young children and families before taking up the role of coordinator.
    • A requirement to provide regular networking/training meetings for educators and to provide ongoing telephone support to educators.

This would strengthen the role of the coordinator and provide assurance to both coordinators and educators on what coordinators are responsible for.

  • More visits per month, with one visit involving a health and safety check.  Options are: weekly visits, fortnightly visits and visits every two and a half weeks.

More frequent visits are likely to lead to better support and oversight of educators’ teaching, leading to better outcomes for children. 

  • Require the same coordinator to provide supervision and support to the same educator.

This would provide continuity for educators and help to strengthen the relationships between coordinators and their educators.

  • Clarify that coordinators are not permitted to act as a person responsible across multiple licences at the same time.

This means a coordinator would not be able to work across multiple licences at the same time.  It would give the Ministry greater oversight about which coordinator is responsible for which educators.

What we would like from you

What we would like from you

We are seeking your views about the proposed changes to the role of coordinators. In particular, we are interested in finding out:

Educators

How would these changes to the coordinator role affect you?

Coordinators

What are the main changes (if any) you would like to see to your role?

Service providers

What impact would these proposals have on your service and the families who use your service?   

 


 

[5] Mooney, A., & Statham, J. (2003). Family Day Care: International Perspectives on Policy, Practice and Quality.  London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. McCabe, L., & Cochran, M. (2008).  Can home visiting increase the quality of home-based child care? Findings from the Caring for Quality Project.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.  Bromer, J., Van Haitsma, M., Daley, K., & Modigliani, K. (2009).  Staffed Support Networks and Quality in Family Child Care: The Family Child Care Network Impact Study.  Chicago: Erikson Institute, Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy.