Nationwide home-based childcare agency Creators@Home has joined a handful of approved licensed home-based providers funded to care for the children of essential workers during the coronavirus Level Four lockdown.
Creators Educational Trust CEO David Gibson says the organisation has been fighting for two weeks to be allowed to provide care to affected families during the lockdown, and finally won approval to start on April 8.
“We have around 400 educarers on our books across New Zealand, from Kaitaia to Southland, and many of them have had the capacity to help out since regular childcare services closed from March 26,” he said.
“As one of New Zealand’s largest home-based ECE agencies, we want to step up and help out any essential workers stuck for childcare arrangements during this stressful period.”
On March 25 the government announced it would fund in-home childcare for essential workers who couldn’t arrange care for their children (aged 0 to 14) during the lockdown. However, the initial agreement was only for three agencies: Porse, Barnardos and Edubase/Home Grown Kids.
“We’ve been lobbying hard to change that,” Gibson said. “It’s important that the government is fair and includes all home-based child-care providers – not only for the sake of the industry, but to give parents and caregivers choice.”
Creators@Home is a nationwide homebased early childhood education (ECE) provider which has been operating since 2012.
It is run by Waikato-based Creators Educational Trust, a non-profit organisation which also operates several Waikato ECE centres and Creators Awhi.
Gibson said it was frustrating waiting for the Ministry of Education approval to support essential workers.
“We value the work that all those on the front line – nurses, doctors, police, supermarket workers, truck drivers and other essential workers – are doing right now, and want to be able to support them with their childcare needs during this time. We want them to know, if they need us, we are here for them.”
Creators Educational Trust collaborated with other home-based providers to lobby the government to open up the support scheme beyond the initial three providers.
Licensed home-based providers approved by the Ministry of Education in the scheme will be paid a flat rate per carer of $60 plus GST as an administration fee.
Each carer will be funded at $25 per hour excluding GST.
Funding is only available for the duration of the four-week alert Level Four lockdown period.
Carers must only work with one family as part of that family’s self-isolation bubble, and all Covid-19 Public Health rules will be followed.