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Reply To: Kia ora, I currently work in the early year’s space focusing on early childhood development and in particular have a passion for the acquisition of te reo Māori as foundational for Māori health and wellbeing. I have been researching a gap in the education landscape for the provision of quality bilingual and immersion EC options for whānau/family. Whānau are currently having to wait for available spaces to access local Kura Kaupapa Māori placements, drive long distances to access quality providers, or place their children in English medium.Home-based EC care is the fastest-growing section of the EC sector, constituting 65% of total growth in the market since 2007. Whilst the provision of home-based care offers more options, inconsistent quality is a major issue.  70% of providers have no formal teaching qualification, 22% have a lvl 3 qualification and only 7% of providers are fully trained.  The Minister for Ed, C. Hipkins, announced in 2019 a number of policy changes to regulate the home-based market.  The policy requires home-based providers to work toward a level 4 EC qualification & submit to ERO review.Without sufficient support to level up, many home-based providers will struggle to meet these requirements for ongoing funding.  Māori providing bilingual or immersion services will be most impacted as the equivalent qualification is the level 5 kōhanga reo qual.  Formal teacher training opportunities don’t cater well for home-based providers who don’t get relief time to study or can’t afford it.  My business idea is to create a hub called Kainga Tupu (HomeGrown), which aims to develop the Māori home-based EC care provider workforce and enable continuous improvement. The hub would support Māori providers to link to teacher training options through micro-credentialing so they can meet the policy requirement of working towards a level 5 qualification. The hub would also be a digital platform to access: peer-to-peer support; professional teaching supervision; subject matter knowledge around child development; experts in te reo and tikanga; assessment & audit support to meet ERO standards, etc.The long-game is to impact Māori health and wellbeing by growing quality te reo Māori learning environments for pēpi and tamariki Māori to have early access to their language, culture, and identity.  The toxic-stress on whānau Māori would reduce from having readily available options. The growth in Māori practitioners to provide te reo based EC options will meet the growing demand for te reo Māori language acquisition.  Digital badging supports workforce development to address the qualification gap. Digital servicing through the hub will mean that service quality is flexible and accessible; it also provides for business continuity in the current Covid climate. So what advice do I need from the gurus at Manaaki?  Well, if I was to develop an investment proposal around this idea, where would be the best place to take it? Should I try to attract philanthropic investment to support the initial development & test/evaluate it as a model for quality improvement over 2 years?  Are there government funding options for this type of initiative? Other funding streams? If the model works locally could it be scalable nationally & beyond?  Kia ora and thanks for your advice/assistance.

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Kia ora, I realise this post is a bit old, but I am just working through a back log from last year, I would recommend talking to a connetion of mine who has direct experience in the area of seeking funding and setting up an organisation for Maori Women, here is the link to their site, Teresa is a smart and connected woman. I recommend connecting with her and her team to see if she would be willing to shed some light on the best opportunities here.

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