Jamaad is early 30s and a Somali refugee. She arrived in New Zealand 8 years ago. She does not speak any English and is unable to read or write in Somali. She has three ECE-aged children and four school-aged children. She is closely connected with the Somali community and knows other Somali educators.
Jamaad provides home-based ECE to her cousin’s 2 year old daughter.
She does not charge her cousin fees. A small proportion of government funding is passed on to her. She receives $1.50 per hour for her niece and provides home-based ECE for 30 hours a week. Her main form of income is a government benefit. The additional money earned as an educator supplements this income.
Jamaad’s niece has just turned two. When her niece was one she received $4 per hour. She usually made around $80 per week. Now that she makes $45 per week she no longer has to worry about her benefit being affected by her income as an educator. The service provider has provided her with toys and a car seat, and has paid to install a safety gate.
The service provider has a large number of Somali educators with one NZ European coordinator overseeing them. The educators have varying English language proficiency, with the educators born in New Zealand being fluent and first generation educators having little to no English. Most speak English as a second language. The service provider hires a translator to accompany the coordinator on visits. Most of the educators are also receiving some form of government assistance. The service providers arrange fortnightly play groups where she meets with other Somali educators. They often socialise with each other outside of these playgroups.
What the changes could mean
The service provider has other networks with English speaking educators. Jamaad continues as a home-based educator until regulatory changes are made. She is unable to meet the language requirements to study and has never formally studied before.
When qualification requirements are introduced, the service provider loses the majority of its Somali educators. Jamaad continues to care for her niece but no longer attracts government funding. A small number of the New Zealand born Somali educators complete qualifications and are transferred to other licences made up of mostly New Zealand born educators. These educators continue to look after children in the Somali community and receive the same pass through from providers.