Below are the services we provide. Simply click on the blue title bars below to expand each section.

Taking Advantage Of The Community

The very best aspect of Homebased Childcare is the fact that we have far more flexibility. Families have more choice with regard to what hours and days they need. Educarer’s can be more “spur of the moment” when deciding what to do for the day. There are whole communities out there to explore. There is in fact a much wider world than that and we can access it more readily than an Early Childcare Centre because our ratios are perfect.

Another good point  is that because our Educarer’s get together on a regular basis there are always plenty of adults to supervise our children. Trips to the park, beach, Zoo, Nature Reserves and bush walks to mention a few become the norm and our children are actively learning and revisiting many different topics and places to compound knowledge on various subjects. Most of all though they have heaps of fun and form good solid relationships which in turn develop into real friendships!

Whangaparaoa, Helensville, Parakai and the wider Rodney district have such a wealth of opportunities out there for our children to experience. Our wonderful Educators generously take advantage of everything there is out there to educate and entertain the Home from Home children especially during the warmer summer months. There are many reserves such as Shakespear Park out at Army Bay, Wenderholm Regoinal Park which is on the road to Warkworth, Long Bay Regoinal Park and the Sculpture Farm north of Kaukapakapa to name a few where we can go for outdoor playgroups. The many beaches not only on the Hibiscus Coast but over on the West Coast too and on the Kaipara Harbour are popular destinations during the summer and sometimes even during winter when appropriate.

Our children are very lucky indeed to be able to play with friends each morning at any one of these destinations and at playgroups for instance during the morning then to go back to their Educarer's safe, child friendly home to chill out and have naps and quieter moments if needed. The perfect childcare option in our view! 

Transition To School Program

Welcome to and insight to Home from Home's many faceted Transition to School Programme! Where children are encouraged to make discoveries through active learning and play. Where young children are encouraged to look at things more deeply, they share ideas, listen to the ideas and opinions of others and respect other people's ideas and thoughts even when they are different from their own. Children are empowered to take control of their own learning anyway at Home from home and more so at "four year old's" as it is affectionately called!

We make discoveries together as we explore many different topics such as: growth, living things, the outdoors, transport, size, measurement, matching, seriation, sorting, research, compliing, drawing, painting, role play, writing a play, song, poetry and rhymes. We learn about: conservation, whats happening out in the community and the wider world, the arts, puppetry, stories, writing, science, technology, photography and the list goes on and on!

We believe that learning should be fun and to encourage that we ask the children to contribute their own ideas. We use these ideas to create fun activities to stimulate children's brains, to encourage and develop motor skills, whole body balance and coordination. For instance drawing chalk letters on the concrete where the four year old children are asked to find specific letters, this often moves on to a game of hopscotch or the children drawing their own letters, numbers and pictures.

Children will put their own slant onto a game and chose another way of learning something. For instance one four year old girl decided to use a scooter to travel from one letter to another which caught on then all the bikes and trikes came out and this simple game became that much more complex, sometimes quite tricky but a lot of FUN!

We actually experience the world around us in a variety of ways and in doing so we develop the ability to get along with others, work closely with teachers and peers, to set and solve problems, and to work as a part of "The Team", all of these abilities and many more are skills we learn for life, how wonderful!

We keep a record of Home from Home's four year old activities in scrap books with learning stories and photographic evidence of our extended pre school education programme which is rich in literacy, mathematics and active participation. Often different interests are carried on in children's educarer's homes to compound knowledge. Children are eager to come to our Wednesday morning sessions at Andrea's home where they know we will have plenty of FUN learning in a small group environment. The most important skill they learn during these times is the art of listening a skill all children need at school and a skill we all need for the rest of our lives actually!

Whangaparaoa and Rodney are fortunate to have some very good schools for our children to move on to when the time comes. The basic requirements for a new entrant are the ability to write her/his name, have good social, emotional and self help skills and the ability to make friends. It is important too that a five year old child can make his/her own choices and stick to tasks for an extended length of time. At home from Home we are working on these areas of childrens preschool education and development at all times however there is more emphasis placed on these developmental areas once children turn four at Home from Home. Expectations are greater for children to sit in small groups to work on a variety of activities which they are required to finish. We make learning fun though so that children are excited about coming back next week - very important!

Active Playgroups

The early childhood years are a time for developing new relationships and making friends. At Home from home children are encouraged to take care of one another, children learn that team work is essential while playing and working alongside other people. Playgroups are a valuable way to ensure that all of the chidlren in our care get plenty of opportunties to engage in play and exploration with a wide variety of children of various ages in a safe, caring learning environment.

Home from Home provides plenty of opportunities for this to happen at a variety of venues each week. Home from home runs weekly playgroups at Helensville Play Centre. On the Hibiscus Coast we go to Silverdale Play Centre and often to Kids Republic or to one of the many beaches, parks and reserves in Rodney. Trips are orgainised on a regular basis and once per term we go on a special excursion which might be the Zoo, Motat, a train ride, the Museum, farm visits to places like Sheep World and The Honey Centre we are spoilt for choice on the beautiful Hibiscus Coast, the North Shore and the wider Rodney district.

Safety is an ongoing theme at Home from Home with so many trips out in the community and children do have a set of rules which all Educator's are on board with. Regular Fire Drills are completed in Educarer's homes and at playgroups. All of the adults at Home from Home keep their First Aid Certificates current and safety talks are a part of mat times too.

Playgroups are a perfect time for babies and toddlers to become familier with other adults so that when a young child needs reassurence or assistance he/she is familir with who ever is nearest. Deep relationships develop between an Educarer and a child in a warm loving home environment when time can always be given for a cuddle to reassure. Children learn to trust other people outside the immediate family by watching what is going on around them in bigger group situations. They learn to imitate their older peers often taking small risks safe in the knowledge that someone is nearby to assist and encourage. In our homebased preschool learning environment young children become aware that it is okay to get things wrong sometimes they will not be judged and that making mistakes is all an integral part of active learning. 

At playgroups and in an Educarer's home children are empowered to develop strategies and skills for initiating, maintaining and enjoying relationships with other people of various ages. Playgroups are fun which is the main thing, there is plenty of music, dance, role play, art and crafts, writing, drawing and problem solving games and puzzles. Sand and water play are readily available no matter the weather. At Silverdale and Helensville Play Centres there are plenty opportunities for children to run, climb and balance, to challenge one another and to set and attain personal goals there are many opportunities for adults to become actively involved in childrens play which really shows that we value individual ideas and effort. Often Educarers and the children from both networks converge at one place to catch up with friends as everyone is kept informed of what is happening via email, phone and work of mouth. We really are one big happy family here at Home from Home!

Using The Outdoors

The chidlren at Home from Home family childcare are very fortunate indeed! We live in one of the best places in New Zealand if not the world with so many wonderful choices! There are the parks offering a wide range of activities and challenges for the varied age groups we cater for. Our Pohutukawa lined beaches on the Hibiscus Coast and further afield in Rodney provide natural shade and safe swimming and paddling water where there are plenty of adults to supervise on a hot summers day.

Often we choose to hold Playgroups at one of these locations with Wenderholm and Shakespear Regional Parks being firm favourites. Everyone contributes with a picnic lunch sometimes even a sausage sizzle, ideas also bring toys and equipment for games. Of course there are already plenty of props right there like trees to climb, banks and hills to run up and roll down and sand to build and dig in. We might simply lie on our backs and watch the clouds or play a game of "duck, duck, goose" or "hide and seek" and the many other favourites!

 These occasions give children the opportunity to play and socialise in big groups, to catch up with friends and to simply enjoy the company of familiar people with similar values while getting to know new additions to our big happy family of learners! At Home from Home we believe that chidlren learn through play and playful interactions with both their peers and the adults associated with them. At all times children are treated with respect, their ideas and opinions are valued and acted upon. We really do believe that it is up to the adults to inspire children to develop the confidence to take control of their own learning. By setting goals, taking on new challenges and by simply "having a go" children at Home from Home soon learn that they can do anything if they put their minds to it while in day care. Having fun outdoors is the very best place to do it!