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.

Glenpark Childcare Centre

We provide education and care that enable children to develop essential life skills. We place an emphasis on independence, self-esteem, confidence and communication in a safe and caring environment. Our teachers are fully trained professionals who are dedicated to quality care of children.

Location

  • North Shore

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
Click Here

BFF Adventureland

At BFF Adventureland & Cafe we are an exciting children’s indoor play land, providing a safe, secure and stimulating play environment catering for children from 0-12. With play equipment including a 16m x 9m frame, ride on animals and bouncy obstacle course for children and adults alike. We offer Before/After school care, holiday programmes, birthday parties and private venue hire, with a cafe onsite.

Location

  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Before/After School Care
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
Click Here

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
Click Here

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
Click Here

Mighty Minds Educare

Mighty Minds Educare is a purpose built, quality childcare centre conveniently located on Great South Road in Penrose. We provide a loving, caring, safe and educational environment where children’s learning is nurtured and encouraged. Our well established team is committed to provide quality education and care for your child.

Location

  • Central Auckland

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
Click Here

Child’s Time Penrose

Child’s Time is a family owned and operated early childhood centre providing a warm, friendly environment where each child’s potential is realised through praise, sensitivity & respect.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • East Auckland

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
Click Here

Zero 2 Five

Zero2Five provides a high-quality Homebased childcare and nanny service in your area, contact us now to find out how you can access 9 FREE WINZ hours (under 3 years) and 20 FREE ECE hours (3 & 4 year old).

Location

  • Rodney

Speciality

  • In-home childcare
Click Here

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
Click Here

Kidd Inn Early Learning Centre

Our Kidd Inn family is committed to providing your children with a safe, nurturing, creative & challenging environment to help them grow into special & unique individuals.

Location

  • West Auckland

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
Click Here

Kelly Club West 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

  • Avondale / Kelston
  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Before/After School Care
  • Holiday Programmes
Click Here