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.

Auckland Netball Centre

Auckland Netball Centre is a multi-purpose indoor and outdoor facility that offers afterschool and weekend netball clinics and holiday programmes for boys and girls of all ages at both our Main St Johns facility and our Mt Eden facility. Children will love the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in our fun and inclusive environment.

Location

  • Central Auckland

Specialities

  • Before/After School Care
  • Coordination, Motor Skills & Mobility
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Outdoor Sports & Activities
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
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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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Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain is an exciting, purpose built attraction, consisting of a Crystal Mine Museum, Café, Gallery–Retail Souvenir Shop and Themed Animal Park, which caters specifically for the family group; providing a unique shopping experience, with an educational and entertaining environment, where families, groups and individuals of all ages and abilities enjoy visiting on a regular basis.

Location

  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Holiday Programmes
  • Outdoor Sports & Activities
  • Science & Technology
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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Butterfly Creek

Butterfly Creek hosts a family day of learning and discovery, connecting children with the living world through innovative, colourful and challenging attractions and exhibits.

Location

  • South Auckland

Specialities

  • Holiday Programmes
  • Outdoor Sports & Activities
  • Science & Technology
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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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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Football for Children New Zealand

Football for Children is a professional soccer academy designed for boys and girls of all abilities from ages 3 and up. The program is centred on fun and enjoyment, with an emphasis on motor skill development, agility, and coordination. Players will have an action-packed footballing experience.

Locations

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

Specialities

  • ADHD & Other Behaviour Disorders
  • Before/After School Care
  • Coordination, Motor Skills & Mobility
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Outdoor Sports & Activities
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Social Skills
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JeMMa’s

JeMMa's provide a trusted, clever mix of childcare and education for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers creating confidence and comfort for your child.

Locations

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

Speciality

  • In-home childcare
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Kelly Club NZ North Shore

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

  • Devonport / Takapuna
  • East Coast Bays
  • North Shore

Specialities

  • Before/After School Care
  • Holiday Programmes
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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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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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