The following video clips are from a NZ made DVD.  

Presenter Dr Sarah Alexander (NZFKU Dip; Higher Dip Tchg, Montessori Dip, M.A.(Hons), Ph.D):

  • Takes you inside different types of NZ early childhood services to see what early childhood education and childcare can look like.
  • Explains the likely positive and negative effects of childcare on children.
  • Mentions different costs and charges families may have to pay.
  • Discusses some alternative choices for childcare and early education.
  • Talks about the meaning of 'quality' early childhood education and what is often important for children and families.
  • Answers lots of questions on a range of topics. 


Part One:  Step inside and begin to take a look at childcare/early education services


Part Two:  Options - the main types of services and some alternatives


Part Three:  Benefits and disadvantages for children.  Also the likely costs/charges. 


Part Four:  What to Expect - these are the minimum expectations


Part Five:  Answers to Big Questions

1.  Leaving a child or a baby for the first time can be difficult for parents and children might cry - what can help ease the trauma?

2. When a child gets hurt what can you expect from the teachers and reporting to parents?

3. Is a crèche or a single caregiver/nanny better?  And, should a parent be worried about their child forming an attachment with the caregiver, nanny or teacher? 

4. How can parents be sure that there are going to be linkages between home and centre?

5. How can teachers involve dads and help dads to feel welcome?

6. How can parents be sure that a programme will be suitable for and be based on their own child's needs, learning style, interests, etc

7. What support and facilities for breastfeeding should be provided by an early childhood service?

8. Is it important for quality that staff hold teaching qualifications?

9. How does the legal requirement for the amount of space per child make it difficult to avoid children being placed in noisy and stressful centre environments?

10. What can you expect teachers to do if your child has a particular talent, gift, or interest?

11. If a child is a victim of another child's bad behaviour what should parents and teachers do?

12. How should teaching staff handle parents leaving children who are sick at the childcare facility?


Some further questions discussed in the next video segment are:

1. How can teachers open up conversations with parents without making parents feel dumb or stupid?

2. What can a Playcentre offer children that is different from say a Kindergarten or Daycare Centre?

3. How can you evaluate if the outdoor environment of an early childhood centre is going to be good for your toddler or child?



Dr Alexander says:

The video has focused on formal services provided in centres and by home-based ECE agencies, but do remember that early education can be delivered by you as a parent as well.  Learning really does begin from birth.  We must take care not to treat starting at a childcare or early education service as the start of a child's education.

When choosing a service make sure you approach this with your eyes wide open.  Ask questions. Seek out an arrangement that is going to be a remarkable one for you and your child.  A service should match, support and enrich on your achievements for your child.  When the service is right for a child you will see pleasure in the child's eyes, a real excitement will be obvious and the child will thrive socially, physically, and in all aspects of his or her learning.