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.

Apples At Home Childcare

Apples at Home Childcare in Rodney, Auckland provides ‘in home’ childcare in Educators own safety approved home. Our Educators are handpicked, thoroughly security screened, and supported by coordinators who are experienced and fully qualified, registered teachers.

Location

  • Rodney

Speciality

  • In-home childcare
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Stanmore Bay Pool & Leisure Centre

Theres something for everyone at Stanmore Bay Pool and Leisure Centre, from babies and toddlers to Grandma and Grandpa! With recreation programmes, pools, sports and much more, its the place to be!

Location

  • Rodney

Specialities

  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
  • Water sports & activities
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Little Kickers Auckland East

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

  • East Auckland

Specialities

  • Coordination, Motor Skills & Mobility
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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Growing Minds

We provide young children (0 5 years) and their families a safe, nurturing & stimulating educational environment where relationships are encouraged and fostered.

Location

  • North Shore

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
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Kiwi Tennis

Kiwi Tennis is a junior coaching and holiday programme that caters for any age or ability. Our junior coaching and holiday programme ensures that every child can achieve their full potential and learn to master the essentials of the game.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • East Auckland
  • North Shore
  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Before/After School Care
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Outdoor Sports & Activities
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Social Skills
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Kelly Sports North Shore

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

  • North Shore

Specialities

  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Outdoor Sports & Activities
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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Sunnynook Preschool

Sunnynook Preschool offers children and their families a safe, nurturing, and stimulating educational environment. We provide a routine-based program, which focuses on literacy and numeracy skills, using everyday happenings as well as planned learning experiences.

Locations

  • Forrest Hill / Sunnynook
  • North Shore

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
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Ten Feet Tall

Ten Feet Tall specialises in empowering children to enjoy performing and hone their speech and drama skills.

Location

  • North Shore

Specialities

  • Drama, Theatre & Musical Theatre
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Speech and Language
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Andy’s Educare Ltd

Early childhood care and education that provides your child with a magical start on their life-long learning journey.

Location

  • Central Auckland

Speciality

  • Childcare Centres
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Peter Snell Youth Village

Our interdenominational Christian camp offers a fun, safe & disciplined environment for children aged 8 to 13.

Location

  • Rodney

Speciality

  • Holiday Programmes
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