Dear My ECE,
Why are under-2s funded at a different rate to over-2s in home-based care settings? As an educator, I can't see any reason for this. I can only have 4 children in care regardless of age (maximum of 2 under 2s but that doesn't affect my group size maximum of 4).
From the organisation's point of view children under and over 2 have exactly the same costs. The organisation does not provide under-2s with more visits than over-2s from the coordinator or any thing extra.
While some organisations may loan out nursery equipment such as a cot or high chair the equipment is often used by carers for many years before its replaced. The playgroups and gym groups organisations provide for carers to take children to really seem to be aimed at over 2s, so I feel that the costs of possibly providing nursery equipment for under-2s and playgroups etc for over-2s sort of cancel each other out. Group size and ratios are the same (1 carer for up to 4 children). So I'm just wondering what exactly that extra funding for under-2s paid to the organisation is supposed to be going towards?
I personally don't see any of this funding as the Ministry's funding goes to the organisation's office (and parents pay me for for their child's care). Some of that funding should be required to be given to the carer as they are the one's having to put in the extra (more intensive) care/education that under-2s need.
Surely it would be more realistic to fund all children at the same rate, somewhere in the middle of the current under 2 rate and the over 2 rate? I'm not disputing that under-2s should be funded, I just don't understand why they are funded at a higher level and over 2s at a lower level when there are no ADDITIONAL costs associated with having younger children in home-based care.
My ECE replies
We asked the Ministry of Education for their comment on this question, and its reply is published below.
The Ministry of Education replies
A separate rate for under-twos in home-based ECE services was sought by home-based providers in the 1990s to bring them in line with the funding rates of other ECE providers (centre-based services). This funding structure was maintained when the existing funding system was introduced in 2005. Changes to home-based ECE rates at that time recognised the increased cost of employing a registered teacher as a co-ordinator.
Becoming a recognised home-based educator