If you have time to look after other children, or would like to work with young children, consider becoming recognised as a home-based early childhood educator.
As one stay-at-home mum said when meeting other mums at a cafe for coffee:
I said to my husband when telling him I wanted to sign up to be a home educator - 'Everyone’s doing it!'
This may sound flippant - but there also many other good reasons for choosing this line of work.
Being a home-based educator is a work/career option that enables you to stay at home with your children, in their own home environment, while you are also engaged in paid work.
There can be tax advantages - but earnings may be low or high depending on how much you charge parents and how many hours of work you get.
People who have become home-based educators talk about the pleasures of being closely involved in children's development and having the time to get to know children as individuals - something that is much more difficult in early childhood centres when educators may have many more children to get to know.
Legally you can regularly care for up to 2 children for payment without registering with the Ministry of Education to operate a licensed service.
An alternative is to be employed by, or work as an independent contractor for, a home-based ECE agency.
The agency will collect government funding and in return refer children to you, liaise with families, and provide you with supervision, toys, and resources.
It may also support you to undertake training and gain an early childhood qualification, or if you are already a qualified ECE teacher it may support your professional development needs.
A good agency will provide back-up childcare for the children you are caring for when you cannot be available (e.g. when you are not well, when you have an appointment you need to keep, or when you need to do something of a personal nature that is not appropriate to involve children in).
Depending on how the agency operates it will either allow you to set your own fee charges and parents pay you directly, or it will handle the financial side and pass on a set hourly amount to you.