Starting a home-based ECE service

This is a guide for service providers interested in establishing a licensed home-based education and care service.

How can providers meet the gain or reward requirement?

Home-based education and care differs from other early childhood education (ECE) options because children remain in a home environment. A home-based educator provides full or part day education and care for fewer than 5 children under the age of 6, in private homes. Educators are supervised by coordinators who are qualified and registered early childhood education teachers.

For a home-based service to receive Ministry funding there must be an auditable trail of reciprocity. This means that the Ministry must be able to see that the educator providing ECE has been paid for providing this to the children in their care.

The business arrangement between the service provider and the educator needs to have evidence of a contractual agreement and other related business documentation, for example a record of salary payments and other methods of payment.

Providing a quantifiable benefit to educators, that is some form of payment that directly benefits the educator and that relates to the amount of work they do, is required to meet the provision for gain or reward.

It is the responsibility of home-based service providers to ensure that all educators within their service/s receive payment for their work. Payment can either come from the service provider, or from the family the educator is working with.

While the Ministry cannot specify what this means in terms of the amount or type of payment, there needs to be a clear link between the payment received and the work completed. Services will be responsible for complying with the requirements of employment related legislation such as the Commerce Act 1986(external link) and the Income Tax Act 2007(external link).