Tiny Nation News – November 2020

Kia ora koutou katoa

Can you believe we are already in November? It feels like this year has really raced by, full of the challenges and changes that COVID-19 has thrust into our lives.

While it’s been incredibly full-on to navigate a sea of uncertainty as parents, educators, providers and businesses, it’s also been an opportunity to re-adjust our sails and be thankful for the small, everyday moments of joy and connection. It’s a reminder to be grateful for the things that we so often take for granted – attending celebrations and events, being a part of group activities and sports, going to a live concert or a rugby game, visiting our favourite restaurant or café… and just being able to hug!

While it has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, 2020 has reinforced for us at Tiny Nation just what we’re all about and WHY we started. We’re about creating ‘pockets’ (or bubbles!) of quality care and education in safe, natural and familiar home environments. We believe in small groups and ratios for care that support a sense of belonging. We believe even more so now that there is a very real and important need for small group care options, especially when large group care options become unavailable or unsustainable. We focus on the everyday moments, taking time to really enjoy learning through play and connecting with our local natural environments.

One of the biggest benefits for educators when choosing to provide home-based childcare is the ability to truly and genuinely ‘be with’ the children in their care in a meaningful and purposeful way. They can follow their learning and be guided by their interests while also getting to know their families and the aspirations they hold for their child. In a world that can sometimes seem chaotic, busy and overwhelming, home-based childcare is unhurried, offering security, safety and – above all else, connection.

So maybe what we have learnt from COVID-19 is really what we knew all along. That connection is why we are here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives and what allows us to naturally thrive.

When we have a small ‘bubble’ of significant others to support us, love us and share our days with us, we just know that everything is going to be okay. Isn’t that what home-based childcare is all about anyway?

Ngā mihi, nui
Erin Maloney and the Tiny Nation Team

Erin Maloney Tiny Nation
Erin Maloney – Founding Director, Tiny Nation

Tiny Nation’s Involvement in the NZ Home Base Association

One of the Tiny Nation principles that drives our mahi and our vision for the sector is leadership. This word means many things to us.

It means working alongside (and learning from!) leaders in our field – our educators, teachers, other providers and community partners. It means encouraging, empowering and inspiring our educators by redefining what leadership looks like as an early childhood education provider. It means leading by example in our sector and providing high-quality service to our tamariki, families and educators. It means being thought leaders and working hard to ensure that our communities can continue to benefit from home-based services and all of the learning around why home-based choices are so important. Most of all, it means stepping up and being strong advocates for our people, our passion and our purpose.

So, it feels kind of fitting that Tiny Nation now forms a part of the New Zealand Home Base Association as a provider member. This allows us to share sector insights with our community, lobby for the change we need to see in early childhood education and, above all else, advocate for our children.

The New Zealand Home Base Association exists to ensure that the benefits of home-based education are understood and appreciated. It is the longest serving national association solely focused on the home-based early childhood education and care sector and its intent is to provide an important voice for the industry at policy and government level.

We are excited to share that Erin Maloney, our Founding Director, has just been elected President of the Association. We are proud to give the Association this support and be a part of its work to take home-based early childhood education and care into the future with a strong vision for the industry as a collective voice.

If you want to know more about the Association, visit www.hbca.org.nz or https://www.facebook.com/nzhbca

Our Tiny Nation is Growing!

Our Tiny Nation has expanded and we are now a national provider across New Zealand, with Ministry of Education licenced services in the following regions:

  • Otago, Central Otago, Southland
  • Wellington
  • Hawke’s Bay
  • Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu

Families are really responding to our focus on quality by working with only trained educators and qualified teachers. Since opening our new licences, we have been overwhelmed with family enquiry in many of these regions and most of our educators are now full!

So, we are now on the scout for professional and trained educators in these regions to partner with us as we grow tomorrow’s big thinkers through the joy of play. If you are a trained educator, nanny or teacher who is interested in joining forces with us to deliver high quality care for our tiny learners, connect with us – we would love to hear from you.

If you want to find out more about the work we are doing in these regions, or about spaces available for educators and families, you can contact us on 0800 TINY NATION or at info@tinynation.co.nz.

You can also check out our new educator video by CLICKING HERE.

Erin’s Going on the Road

With some new Tiny Nation regions on board and a growing base of educators and tiny learners, Erin, our Founding Director, is getting out and about in each of our regions throughout November and early December to connect and korero with our Tiny Nation community.

Check out the information below to find out when Erin will be in a community near you.
As a part of the roadshow, Erin will be available for confidential, no-obligation one-on-one meetings with any educators or teachers who are interested in learning more about Tiny Nation.

Get in touch if you want to know more or book an appointment.

Regional Roadshow Dates

November 16, 17 & 18

November 25 & 26

Dates to be confirmed

November 23 & 24

Dates to be confirmed

Erin Maloney Founding Director of Tiny Nation visiting Educators in New Zealand

We are Now an Accredited OSCAR Provider!

Tiny Nation has recently become an accredited national Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) provider.

This means that families who currently have pre-schoolers enrolled with Tiny Nation educators will also have the option of being able to enrol their school-aged children with their educator for funded before or after school care programmes.

If using an accredited OSCAR provider, families are able to apply for an OSCAR subsidy payment to help fund the costs of before and after school care for up to 20 hours a week, and school holiday care for up to 50 hours a week. The OSCAR subsidy payment is means tested and not available to all families.

To find out more about our OSCAR programme and policy, email info@tinynation.co.nz.

Tiny Nation’s Visit to Local Fire Stations

Last month our regional events focused on visiting local fire stations, with our tamariki learning first-hand about the importance of fire safety from the experts. The visits were a great opportunity to get out and about in our local communities, after all – home-based doesn’t mean house-bound!

Our tiny learners were able to immerse themselves in the day to day running of a fire station, testing out the equipment (with some great water play!), trying on the fire fighting gear and getting to meet their heroes – the fire fighters.

A big thank you to all the station staff who welcomed us in (and aboard the fire trucks!) – our children had an amazing hands-on experience full of fun and learning.

Tiny Nation outing to visit local fire stations for ECE learning opportunities in the community.

Policy, Form and Procedures Review

We have recently completed our first full review of all policies, forms and procedures. We went through this process to make sure that our home-based programmes continue to meet licensing criteria while also being ‘fit for purpose’, meaningful and practical.

We have shared a summary of all policy changes with our educators and families via our App. If you’d like to know anything more about where our review landed, please email info@tinynation.co.nz for more information. We are always open to feedback on all our policies, forms and procedures (not just at review time but all year round!) If you have any comments or concerns, please share these with your visiting teacher.

Talking Together, Te Kōrerorero

The Ministry of Education’s early learning team has recently released an online tool called Talking together, Te kōrerorero.

The new resource has been created for kaiako and educators in early learning and early primary schooling to support their understanding about key elements of oral language and provide guidance on effective ways to foster language growth in young children. It is underpinned by the principles, strands, goals and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki.

Want to know more? Talking together, Te kōrerorero can be accessed through Te Whāriki Online website here: https://tewhariki.tki.org.nz/talkingtogether

Tōku reo tōku ohooho, tōku reo tōku māpihi maurea, tōku reo tōku whakakai marihi.
My language is my awakening, my language is my treasure, my language is my prized possession.

What’s Coming Up: The Tiny Nation Home Learning Focus and Community Programme

Resource Packs
World Kindness Day and water play
November educator resource pack

Christmas Creations
December educator resource pack

Outings and Events
Educator, children and family Christmas parties – all regions throughout November and December.

Hawke’s Bay
Arataki Honey Visitor Centre
Monday 23 November 10:00am, Arataki Road, Havelock North.

Every Monday and Tuesday from 9:00am, 303 Ikanui Road, Frimley, Hastings.

Tamatea Play Group
Every Thursday during term time 9:30am to 12:00pm, 24 York Avenue, Tamatea.

Love builds brains, an evening with Robin and Toni Christie (Founders of Childspace)
Friday 13 November 6:30 to 8pm, Eltham Town Hall, Taranaki.

Kindy Gym
Every Monday during term time from 9:15am – 10.15am, 83 Liardet Street, New Plymouth

Brooklands Zoo
Thursday 12 November 10:00am, 30 Brooklands Drive, New Plymouth.

Te Moana Glow Show – Wednesday 18 November 10:00am, 69 Street Hill Street, Whanganui.

Wellington pop-up play group
Wednesday 18 November 9:30am, Otari-Wilton’s Bush: Troup Picnic Area, Wilton Road, Wellington.

Southland, Central Otago and Otago
Weekly pop-up play group in Invercargill and Dunedin throughout November. Our pop-up play groups are a great way for us to get out in the community to show our locals first-hand what Tiny Nation is all about and make connections.
Stay tuned on our Facebook page to find out more!

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