Starting a home-based ECE service

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

Licensing Criteria Cover

Suggested equipment for home-based ECE services

  • Overview
    • This information has been designed to help you ensure that children in home-based services have access to high-quality care and education environments.

      Home environments provide learning opportunities and experiences in contexts that are different from centres. The daily occurrences and materials that are already part of the home environment (such as cooking, shopping, gardening) provide rich learning opportunities for children. Remember though that a strength for home-based education is the opportunity for children to go out and about in the community. Educators should be encouraged to utilise the equipment, opportunities and resources that are available in their local communities.

      As a service provider you must ensure that the homes used in your service are equipped to provide for the children who attend. Variety, quality and quantity of equipment is required to enable educators to support the wide range of learning and abilities and interests of the children attending.

  • Te Whāriki
    • The aspiration statement and the 4 principles of Te Whāriki underpin all that we do in early childhood education. When providing an enriched environment for children, we must ensure the principles underpin any decisions.

      It is vital that educators take opportunities to extend children's thinking and encourage children to have a perception of themselves as explorers - competent, confident learners who ask questions and make discoveries.

      Relating equipment to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki

      When providing an enriched environment for children, we must ensure that the principles and strands of Te Whāriki are at the centre of our planning decisions.

      Principles

      Empowerment/whakamana – the early childhood curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow.

      Holistic development/kotahitanga - the early childhood curriculum reflects the holistic way children learn and grow.

      Family and community/whānau tangata – the wider world of family and community is an integral part of the early childhood curriculum.

      Relationships/ngā hononga – children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things.

      Well-being/mana atua – the health and well-being of the child are protected and nurtured.

      Belonging/mana whenua – children and their families feel a sense of belonging.

      • Equipment and resources should reflect Maori tikanga and language
      • Equipment and resources reflect the cultures in the local community

      Contribution/mana tangata – opportunities for learning are equitable, and each child's contribution is valued.

      • Resources should reflect differing attitudes and feelings that will help children to accept other people who are different from themselves.
      • Equipment should encourage children to solve conflicts in a peaceful way and will develop positive and constructive attitudes to competition.

      Communication/mana reo – the languages and symbols of children's own and other cultures are promoted and protected.

      A range of resources that support and promote communication are available:

      • Books, language, talking, storytelling, puppets, listening and Māori resources
      • Papatūānuku/natural materials stones, bark, shells, etc
      • Written language – te reo Māori visually seen, numbers, waiata, etc.
      • Equipment and resources to support creative expression in areas such as art, music, dance, construction
      • Greeting each person in their language
      • Visual resources
      • Music and instruments from other countries
      • Fantasy play – dress-up clothes, eating utensils, etc.
      • Puzzles and books
      • Resources from support agencies for families to access
      • Opportunities for emerging literacy
      • Equipment, furniture and layout to support conversations e.g. cushions, sofas, mat/carpet.

      Exploration/mana aturoa – the child learns through active exploration of the environment.

      The following equipment and resources could be available to children:

      • Books and storytelling props
      • Puzzles and manipulative equipment
      • Blocks
      • Materials that foster creativity
      • Dough and clay
      • Dramatic play resources
      • Sand
      • Water
      • Natural materials (for example, stones, bark, shells), animals, and science resources (for example, magnifying glasses, magnets, microscopes, experiment books), etc
      • Carpentry equipment and resources that promote physically active play resources (for example, cardboard, blankets, wood) that enable large constructions such as huts, boats, etc Paper, pens, rulers, etc
      • Papatūānuku/natural materials
      • ICT equipment
  • Equipment lists
    • In an environment that provides opportunities for choices, planning and problem solving, children have access to, and can easily obtain, a variety of tools and resources. Educators should consider what equipment, resources and materials are readily available in their home environments that can be used by children. A service may supplement an educator’s home resources by providing their own resource/toy library lending facility that educators can access.

      When selecting equipment for children, it is essential to consider the 3 broad age groups (as described in Te Whāriki):

      • Infants – birth to 18 months
      • Toddlers – one to 3 years
      • Young children – from 2 years 6 months to school entry age.

      Safety, size and durability are key issues to consider when choosing material, equipment and resources to purchase or enable children to access. Ask the following questions:

      • How long will it last with daily use?
      • Is it non-toxic? What type of paint has been used to colour it?
      • Does it have rounded edges to prevent cuts etc?
      • Is it safe for babies? Could a baby swallow it?
      • Is the size appropriate for a child's hand or foot etc?
      • Is it easily cleaned?

      The following lists provide some ideas of equipment that services may include in their 'resources library'. This enables educators to have access to extra equipment to extend children's thinking and learning. Diversity in equipment is encouraged and these lists can be adapted and extended to accommodate an individual focus or philosophy. Many other items of equipment could be added to the lists.

  • Suggested equipment for children who are over 2 years old
    • This list has been included to provide ideas of equipment that home-based service providers may include in their 'resources library' (equipment they can lend to educators). This enables educators to have access to extra equipment to extend children's thinking and learning.

      This is a suggested list which is by no means exhaustive. The resources and equipment you may include will be determined in part by the developing interests and passions of the children in your service, and their communities.

      While this list is intended to support service providers to consider the equipment they may need to have available for lending to educators, educators themselves may wish to use the list headings as a basis for considering what equipment, tools and resources they have available, or can adapt, in their homes and local communities for children to use.

      For a range of play ideas read the play ideas for playgroups, which you can also use at your home-based service as long as you’re following the regulations and licensing criteria that apply to your service type.

      Additional activities and equipment include the following.


      Creativity

      Equipment

      A wide range of resources that could be used for creating is likely to include:

      Connecting materials such as:

      • a variety of glue such as PVA, Polycell, glue pots and brushes of assorted sizes
      • staplers
      • Cellotape, masking tape and dispensers
      • balls of string.

      Crafting materials such as :

      • felt pens
      • crayons and pastels
      • pencils
      • ruler scissors (children’s and adults), including left-handed scissors
      • non-toxic colouring pens in a range of colours
      • hole-punch
      • collage materials such as material scraps and natural materials (leaves and seeds), glitter (including containers).

      Active play

      Equipment
      • Ladders
      • Planks
      • Wooden boxes, variety of sizes and heights
      • Tyres – (not steel belted)
      • Balls
      • Hessian – large sheets
      • Ropes – several
      • Wheeled vehicles – for example, trikes, trolleys, ride-ons, large trucks, wheelbarrows, etc
      • Hula hoops

      Adult education

      Equipment
      • Range of parenting books
      • Activity idea books
      • Health information
      • Māori dictionary
  • Suggested equipment for children who are under 2 years old
    • This list has been included to provide ideas of equipment that home-based service providers may include in their 'resources library' (equipment they can lend to educators). This enables educators to have access to extra equipment to extend children's thinking and learning.

      This is a suggested list which is by no means exhaustive. The resources and equipment you may include will be determined in part by the developing interests and passions of the children in your service and their communities.

      While this list is intended to support service providers to consider the equipment they may need to have available for lending to educators, educators themselves may wish to use the list headings as a basis for considering what equipment, tools, and resources they have available, or can adapt, in their homes and local communities for children to use.

      Furnishings

      Equipment
      • Tri-pillow
      • Crawling mat/squabs and cushions
      • Cots
      • Prams
      • High-chairs

      For a range of play ideas read the play ideas for playgroups, which you can also use at your home-based service as long as you’re following the regulations and licensing criteria that apply to your service type.

      Additional activities and equipment include the following.


      Active play

      Equipment
      • Balls
      • Wheeled vehicles, for example trikes, trolleys, ride-ons, push-alongs, wheelbarrows
      • Various sized planks and ladders
      • Various small boxes, variety of sizes and heights
      • Swings
      • Push and pull-along toys

      Adult education

      Equipment
      • Range of parenting books
      • Activity idea books
      • Health information
      • Māori dictionary