The PORSE Programme is based on sound common sense simple notions, simple ideas and research that speaks loudly for young children, to spend at least the first three years of their lives, nurtured respectfully within a home environment, with an educator who is rationally committed and attuned to the CARE moments, experiences and learning that naturally unfolds and connects from within the brain.
This is an important time in history for the PORSE Programme, because the past and current political strategy is to increase participation for children under the age of three years in early childhood services that operate in the absence of parents, with multiple educators, and away from the natural setting of home.
For the past 20 - 30 years, the interests of women and children have been at loggerheads. Statements made about the value of early childhood education and care are entirely valid, however when applied to young children and in particular infants there are many unpalatable truths.
For example, group-based care with multiple and changing carers, however efficient and well managed, cannot adequately meet the emotional needs of very young children. The fact is, it is not essential for infants to learn from their peer group, but from the people they are securely attached to.
The educational claims of the benefits of early childhood education have given women permission to leave their young children in full day childcare. However it is not just a question of home care versus daycare, but an issue of sufficient one to one contact with someone special and this someone special does need to be well-informed throughout the infancy stage.
PORSE has looked at the needs of infants and the needs of mothers separately. We now have many mothers working out of the home, but at the same time we have also displaced many babies out of their homes. It is a known that babies will stop crying if in an environment where their cries do not produce an immediate response.
The conceptual and philosophical vision for PORSE emerged during the 1980's when group based childcare was being strongly supported by government ideology, funding and the goal to professionalise the Early Childhood Sector.
In 1993 and 1994 the P.O.R.S.E Programme was developed by Jenny Yule to guide early childhood students undertaking practicum in family homes. From this experience and knowledge of the early childhood sector Jenny Yule and Lesley Gaston established 'Bay Nanny Childcare Network' to provide nannies with secure employment opportunities and families to gain the benefits of in-home childcare. to work in the home, and gained a charter with the Ministry of Education at the beginning of 1995.
A new company, 'National Nanny Childcare Network (NZ) Ltd' was formed in 1996. A joint venture with Auckland University of Technology set up a model which was then used with other Nanny Agencies in Wellington and Christchurch. The company, in 1997, secured a Ministry of Education two-year contract to deliver the Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whaariki, for Nannies.
In 1999 PORSE began to sell itself as a Franchise System which replaced the original system of Joint Ventures with Nanny Agencies. The first franchise was sold to Hastings. The 'National' Nanny Childcare Network was renamed as 'PORSE'.
PORSE ECE Training (NZ) Ltd was registered in 1999. NZQA approved the National Certificate in Early Childhood Education & Care (Level 5) which was delivered in Hastings and Christchurch.
The company was moving at a fast pace with franchises being sold around New Zealand. The National Support Office (NSO) was re-structured in 2003 with appointments made to key roles in order to support the services provided. A year of consolidation followed with the focus being on the PORSE Vision and Mission. NSO Area Offices were established enabling there to be a mixture of independent and company owned areas. PORSE is committed to both models of operation.
Numerous new initiatives and developments occurred in 2005 as PORSE investigated further opportunities to achieve the Mission. These included increased field support staff, introducing the Educator Induction Programme, Workplace Training options, coaching roles for Programme Tutors, STAR and Secondary Schools Programme (Level 3), and creating a new look and feel to the PORSE Brand.
PORSE today is still a rapidly growing in-home childcare service and workplace training provider to thousands of educators, families and their children with the fundamental belief that children need safe, stimulating natural environments to support early brain development, the natural unfolding of development and adult-supported connections for life-long learning.
The unique difference between PORSE and other Early Childhood Services starts and ends with our Vision and Mission, which sees nurturing in-home childcare and workplace training of educators as the key to expand the minds of a nation and to strengthen relationships between educators and children.
The active involvement of educators (parents, family and whanau) determines the quality or success of the PORSE Programme and life-long outcomes for young children.
The PORSE Programme is unique to each individual family and developed by supporting a personally selected educator who works within the child's context of family, home and community.
The PORSE Programme focuses on a relationship-based approach to learning, with educators who become significant others in the lives of the children they nurture.
The PORSE Programme allows educators to work at the pace of young children and allows children TIME for the unfolding of their natural development and individual potential. Infancy is a time for forming secure attachments, with the infant needing to stay effectively connected to a caring, committed, sensitive educator in order to cope with both new and familiar experiences.
The PORSE Programme allows educators time to recognize how children instinctively want to learn - how their learning emerges through the educator's skill of connecting, communicating and collaborating with the individual child's learning PATTERNS.
Trends today in our country show increasing numbers of families confused about their parenting role. The PORSE Vision is to meet parents where they are, in their early days of parenting and to become a partner with them.
By re-focusing on the child's unfolding mind during the first three years of growth and re-investing in the vital role of nurturing, then we have the grounding to turn the tide on the challenges now faced by families and professionals in the 21st Century.
PORSE firmly believes that IF the parenting/educator role is addressed during the infancy years, then the long-term outcomes for children and society are without question.
Nurturing young children is a role that needs to be a 'shared' experience with families, so that once in a life time opportunities for children are maximized.
PORSE's Mission is focused on schooling all educators to find a strong sense of self and positive behaviours, which will contribute to their own self-regulation and an understanding that their behaviours and ways of interpreting experience are read by the child.
Internal self-control and emotional regulation allows educators to demonstrate appropriate behaviour, to set a positive tone within a child's environment.
The constant presence of an educator, whose daily behaviour provides a realistic picture of respect for self and others, becomes a worthwhile role model for children and other adults.
What we may lose by ignoring the present situation, where group-based institutionalised childcare has become the accepted norm for children from as young as six weeks - is the next generation of competent parents/educators and resilient, competent and well-adjusted children.
So while the world continues to get bigger and faster, PORSE's Vision and Mission and approach to childcare - is to return the early years back to children, back to the natural setting of a family home, meeting parents/educators where they are at and working respectfully for the benefit of children.
Everyone who works with PORSE has to deal primarily with relationships, especially adult relationships - and this is the key to successful nurturing of young children. If the big people can all get it right as educators then our little people, our children will be the beneficiaries.
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