What is Home-Based Early Childhood Education?

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Home-based ECE involves people caring for children in a home environment (either their home or the child’s home), who have signed up to a government funded and licensed home-based agency.

The agency is responsible for overseeing the care and education of the child and the person’s work, and providing support with training and administration. It is also responsible for making sure the caregiver or nanny provides an early childhood curriculum and the home meets minimum regulations for things such as health and safety. 

Most agencies ask parents to pay the person (educator) directly, while the agency collects government funding to pay for providing supervision of the educator and professional support, equipment, and resources.


Home-based ECE can include up to four children, often of different ages, and may include the educator’s own young child.  Other family members such as older children and extended family members may also be present or pop in from time to time.

Most home-based educators take children on excursions – shopping and to the park and playgroups, etc.

Home-based ECE is a popular choice among parents, as well as children being able to go on frequent outings/ walks etc, there is the the smallness and friendliness of a family-style arrangement, and flexibility of hours that a home-based educator often offers.

There is one thing you need to be aware of and clarify – check if the agency accepts ultimate responsibility for your child’s care and the quality of the educator’s work. If it does not, then you may want to choose an agency that accepts rather than passes on responsibility. A Dec 2010 case of a stressed homebased educator working for PORSE without back-up who left a baby at her house alone for 2 hours highlighted that when an agency uses self-employed contractors rather than employing educators as staff it can be let off for failings in the supervision of the contractor and ensuring child supervision and safety. 

Are you interested in being a (paid) home-based educator?

Go to an article on becoming a home-based educator.

Learn what to look for when choosing Home-based ECE

Choosing a good home-based service

Would you prefer a nanny?

Find out about employing a nanny in your home

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