Hi and thanks for visiting. I am starting this site in an effort to share some of our concerns and tips around independent education services, especially independent early childhood services.
As most of us are aware a lot of early childhood education centres, and home based centres have recently being sold to an Australian Listed company, amongst which are PORSE and Lollipops educare.
I am very concerned with this for 2 reasons:
1. Listed companies have a very bad track record of acting in any interests which conflict with their bottom line. How many times have we heard of mass layoffs in big multinational listed firms in order to sharpen the bottom line? This may be fine in a sneaker factory in Indonesia as long as the quality of the shoe remains the same, however, when teachers are concerned, any layoffs will instantly translate to a decrease in teaching quality
2. Overseas companies have less to loose when investing and taking companies to list in a separate country. Their main goal is to list, make money on selling down their initial shares and then exiting as quickly as possible. Since they are not even a part of our community, there are zero repercussions in any fall outs from this process.
Imagine putting yourself in this shoe – what would you do? Would you cut everything to the barebones to cream your profit or would you invest for the long haul?
So if you are one of the parents affected or if you are just starting out and need to find a good education service, what can we are parents do?
1. Stay informed. Know what is happening in your child’s life and the life of their centre/home care service
2. Look for a better service. There still some very strong NZ based operators who invest heavily back into the community and into the services. One such example is lighthouse preschool.
They have been in operation for over 30 years and both of my children has attended. The facilities are amazing, all built with the children in mind, and the teachers are second to none (and there are lots of them). They have not increase their fees for over 3 years now and every year the owners manage to continue to invest back into the centre. So for anyone who’s child attends a centre that cites growing costs as a reason for fee increases, I would strongly recommend that they check out lighthousepreschool.
3. Seek alternatives. There are many different types of services. So early learning centres and PORSE nannies are not the only options. There are some pretty amazing homebased services around, and community and private kindergartens.
Lighthouse preschool for example also operates an amazing home based service called lighthouse at home. The teachers told me the name was inspired by the desire to bring the education that a child would get at a center into the child’s home
I haven’t used this service directly but I’ve done a lot of research into them as I’m about to have a 3rd baby and after reading all the facts, I’m starting to think that home based services would be a better alternative!
If this is something you are thinking of for your child, give them a ring or check them out on lighthouse at home.
4. Know the signs. Know what a happy child is and what to look out for in a good education facility. There are some simple rules I use and in my next post I will post them up and share them for everyone to try. So please keep an eye out and good luck!