Bay of Plenty home-based childcarers are welcoming an announcement qualifications will become compulsory for them.

The new regime, unveiled by Education Minister Chris Hipkins this week, required home-based carers to have, or be working towards, early childhood education qualifications at Level 4 in the qualifications system.

The owner and manager of Rotorua HomeBased Childcare Katrina van der Gulik said the announcement didn't come as a surprise.

"We think it's positive for the industry.


"[Qualifications] have always been a priority for us."

Van der Gulik said the company had 13 educators and all of them were either already qualified or working towards a qualification.

"So it won't affect us, we're glad they are improving home-based care."

While some say reforms would improve the quality of education provided by the home-based sector, others say it could drive some out of the business if they couldn't or wouldn't do the qualifications.

Van der Gulik believed it could affect those with a language barrier which was a shame because home-based care allowed people to be educated in their own cultural environment.

She said it could also be a barrier for grandparents but if others would be driven out of the industry by the reforms, she would question why they were in the sector.

"We're glad the Government is strengthening and trying to improve the sector, we hope it will bring more accountability."

Roberta Morunga, who manages the Māori Education Trust Te Matahauariki which governs home-based educator Tutū, agreed with van der Gulik.

She said the organisation supported the Level 4 requirement and the 25 educators they employed all either had that qualification or were working towards it.

"It's important to remember we're trying to lift the profile of home-based education.

"Quality qualifications equal quality education."

Petra Mavanua, owner of Nurtured at Home, said the educators who worked for the company were mostly qualified.

"We were aware these changes were likely to happen so we've been working hard to get our home-based carers to get certified."

Mavanua said during consultation on the changes the idea higher education could be done in other languages was discussed, but that didn't seem to be part of the announcements.

"That is disappointing but that may change.

"It is going to be interesting to see how things roll out but ultimately it's improving the quality so that's a good thing."

Edubase senior leader Camille Cuff said the changes were positive and many of the educators working for Kids at Home and Home Grown Kids already had qualifications.

"We also have educators and nannies that are mothers and grandmothers with fantastic life skills, experience and knowledge.

"We have already been having discussions with our educators and nannies about future training options."

As of last year, there were roughly 18,200 children in home-based care.

Forty per cent of the 7500 carers or "educators" care for only one child each, and 70 per cent are unqualified.

The Government subsidises carers about $8 an hour for each child under age 2. For older children, it pays about $9 an hour for the first 20 hours and about $4 an hour thereafter.
- Additional reporting NZ Herald, Simon Collins