4 June 2013

New Zealand’s Home Early Learning Organisation, (HELO) established six months ago to give the home-based ECE sector a stronger national voice, now represents the majority of home-based enrolments.

This week, another major home-based provider, Footsteps, has joined HELO supporting a stronger, united voice for the sector.

Footsteps CEO Kevin Christie said the greatest advantage for HELO members was the greater good the organisation would achieve for the home-based sector as a united group, rather than as individual providers.

“We hope to achieve positive change for all children through our united voice in all aspects of in-home early learning and care.”

“We are thrilled to join HELO, whose values align with ours. We are fully committed to raising the standards in the home-based sector and achieving better outcomes for all children.”

“As a HELO member we will have a stronger voice for the 1500 children, caregivers and whānau we serve nationwide through our specialised home-based education service.”

“Footsteps has a focus on vulnerable children, who represent over 70 per cent of our enrolments.  By joining HELO we are adding greater diversity of who the organisation represents.”

HELO president, Jenny Yule, said having members like Footsteps help give HELO a stronger mandate and re-confirmed HELO as national voice for advocating on behalf of the home-based sector.

Ms Yule said together HELO’s members are able to be heard and recognised as a strong and united voice.

“We have come so far in such a short time. Already we are starting to make a difference – finally our sector is being heard particularly when working at a national level and with Government agencies.”

Ms Yule has since been elected as the home-based member on the New Zealand Teachers Council Advisory Group and HELO continues meeting with key Government agencies, such as the Education Review Office and the Ministry of Education, to ensure home-based ECE is heard.

“We are gaining momentum and continue to encourage other home-based ECE service providers to join HELO so they to can benefit from being part of a stronger national body who is influencing positive outcomes,” says Ms Yule.

With the addition of Footsteps, HELO now represents 52% of the home-based ECE enrolments.  Founding members include PORSE, Home Grown Kids, Au Pair Link and PAUA.


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