Childcare

Childcare: for under 14s

Leaving a child or children “home alone” can land a parent or responsible caregiver in plenty of trouble – particularly when a child is considered “too young” , the time alone “too long” or the assigned “caregiver” is not considered responsible enough.  So what are the rules around childcare?

By law, every child under the age of 14 years must not be left alone by a parent or caregiver for a time that is unreasonable, or under conditions that are unreasonable, without adequate supervision and care. (s.10B Summary Offences Act 1981).What is considered ‘reasonable’ can cause considerable confusion for parents – cultural expectations,  economic or work stresses, and their own childhood experiences can lead to very different ideas about what is okay.

While the law provides some flexibility when it comes to the circumstances in which children may be left unsupervised, parents and caregivers are required to assess all the circumstances and make sure that children and young people are safe and not in danger or at an unacceptable risk of harm.

This law applies to leaving children at home unsupervised and in places outside the home too such as libraries, shopping centres, playgrounds and swimming pools.

What needs to be considered when deciding what is appropriate supervision?

Before leaving a child unattended or under the care of another young person, parents and caregivers must consider:

  • The age and needs of the child
  • The child’s level of maturity and understanding
  • The place where the child will be left
  • How long will the child be left alone, and how often will this occur
  • Whether the child be left alone or with other children
  • The accessibility of a pre-arranged responsible adult who may assist the child
  • The child’s knowledge of what to do or who to contact in an emergency

Childcare for under 5s

Baby in dangerIt is NEVER okay to leave a baby or young child unsupervised. Things can go wrong very quickly with babies. A baby can rapidly develop a fever, choke, wake up frightened, upset or in discomfort. Even a few minutes can be a long time for a baby who is hungry, frightened or in pain.

Toddlers and young children are curious, love to explore and can quickly get into danger because they are too young to understand the risks involved. Simply telling them not to do something will not stop curiosity and it only takes a few seconds for a young child to come to serious harm.

There are a number of childcare options available to suit the needs of parents and caregivers to very young children:

  • Babysitters
  • In-home early childhood educators
  • Au pairs
  • Nannies
  • Pre-schools
  • Kindergartens
  • Creches and casual care centres

 

Childcare for school age children

Older children under the age of about 14 are not sufficiently mature to be left without adult supervision on a regular basis, or for more than a short period of time. It may be tempting for parents to leave children alone for an hour or two after school. However, at this age there are still many risks. Unsupervised children are at risk from household or cooking accidents, fire, poisoning, unmonitored internet and phone access and playing with weapons. They are also more likely to get into trouble or put themselves at risk of harm without adult supervision and guidance.

If an older child is left alone for a short time, parents or caregivers need to make sure the child knows where they are and who they can contact if there is a problem. Parents also need to check that their older child feels confident left alone and that they know what to do if they need assistance.

Leaving a young person over the age of fourteen at home alone may still be inappropriate, especially if it is for extended periods of time (such as a weekend) or the young person lacks the maturity to safely care for themselves. Whilst it is true that young people need to practice independence and sensible decision making, this needs to be done within a protective environment where an adult is close at hand and can be called in any emergency.

Porse Homebased Childcare

With over 20 years experience delivering quality in-home childcare and nationally recognised childcare education and training, we offer genuine expertise and loving care.

Locations

  • East Auckland
  • Rodney
  • South Auckland

Specialities

  • In-home childcare
  • Trades & Professions
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Rocket Kids

Welcome to Rocket Kids – an early learning centre that aims to provide exceptional pre-school education and care for children from 3 months to 5 years old.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • West Auckland

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
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Pupuke Early Education Centre

If you are looking for a home away from home for your child then you need to look no further. Personal, loving care, home cooked meals and a philosophy embedded in the Virtues Project.

Location

  • North Shore

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
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Kelly Club NZ Rodney

At Kelly Club we believe in giving children opportunities to do the things they love and enjoy in a supportive and encouraging environment. Kelly Clubs are OSCAR programmes and are approved by the Ministry and Social Development and align to our national policies and procedures.

Locations

  • Orewa
  • Red Beach / Silverdale
  • Rodney
  • Warkworth / Wellsford
  • Whangaparaoa Peninsula

Specialities

  • Before/After School Care
  • Holiday Programmes
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Kelly Sports Papakura/Franklin

At Kelly Sports, we teach children fundamental sporting skills in an awesome, fun-filled environment. Our philosophy is to encourage children's enthusiasm for sport and the life skills it teaches.

Location

  • South Auckland

Specialities

  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Outdoor Sports & Activities
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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Little Kickers Auckland North

Little Kickers is the largest global provider of Football classes to children under 7. Little Kickers gives your child a positive introduction to sport by teaching high quality Football (Soccer) skills in a friendly, fun, pressure-free environment. With four different classes tailored specifically to the needs of children between 18 months and seven years, and 40 venues throughout New Zealand, It’s the perfect way to ignite an enthusiasm for sport that will stay with them for life.

Location

  • North Shore

Specialities

  • Coordination, Motor Skills & Mobility
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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Dream Au Pair

Wouldn't it be great to have someone care for your children, helping them grow and develop in their own home environment, the way we did when we were kids? Dream Au Pair offers you just that!

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • North Shore
  • Rodney
  • South Auckland
  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Babysitting Services
  • Before/After School Care
  • In-home childcare
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The Treehouse Children’s Creche

The Treehouse is a privately run centre, which offers free childcare for children, aged 0 to 5 years, of the local community.

Location

  • East Auckland

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
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Sure Start

Sure Start provides quality care and education for children under five, in a safe, supportive and challenging environment where their individual needs are paramount.

Locations

  • Rodney
  • Whangaparaoa Peninsula

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
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Kelly Club NZ Central Auckland

At Kelly Club we believe in giving children opportunities to do the things they love and enjoy in a supportive and encouraging environment. Kelly Clubs are OSCAR programmes and are approved by the Ministry and Social Development and align to our national policies and procedures.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • Herne Bay/Ponsonby

Specialities

  • Before/After School Care
  • Holiday Programmes
Click Here