"In the year 2000, our family moved from Wellington to Palmerston North. We had no family, friends, or support in the area. We had 2 lovely girls and were expecting another baby later in the year.
This is not unusual, families often have 3 under-5s, but we are not really your average family. Our 2nd daughter Lucy was in need of 24-hour care; Lucy was fed with a tube and had severe medical needs.
One day, after Charlotte was born, I braved the Palmerston North parent and child show in search for samples and freebies, which of course were well enjoyed. I got a bit more than I bargained for on that day, as I met someone that provided a glimmer of hope that there may be a way I could get some help… Help with juggling my small, ever so sweet, baby Charlotte along with my spirited, high needs gift of 2-year-old Lucy, and my extremely intelligent and staunch 4-year-old Jessica.
My glimmer of hope was a nanny from the (then called) “New Zealand Nanny Support Service”, which later became Home Grown Kids. They helped us with a variety of funding sources to aid Lucy’s high needs, including income based assessment and lots of negotiation with the Needs Assessment Team. Thanks to their support we were able to scrape enough funds together to pay for a Nanny for a good number of hours to help with our children.
We continued to complete our family with 6 amazing daughters; Jessica, Lucy, Charlotte, Mary, Katie and Elizabeth. As a passionate Playcentre parent, I was able to continue supporting other families, while also receiving support for my own. Most of our Nannies have been employed with us for long periods and become a part of our family. They often work for us while studying for degrees, and leave when moving into their chosen career, or moving off to enjoy some travel.
The Home Grown Kids team have been consistently supportive over the years and met my families support needs above and beyond. Even though I have only ever met the Visiting Teachers, calling the head office team is like calling up a friend. I have been lucky enough to have had wonderful Visiting Teachers support the Nannies in our home, and my children have always been excited for their visits - often like the favourite aunty coming to visit.
Visiting Teachers have supported our Nannies with information about how my children are learning and offer ideas to support them, while recognising valuable learning occurring in the context of everyday life.
There is no way on earth my family would have got through the last 17 years without the support of Home Grown Kids, and I will miss them all dearly when our 6th daughter, Elizabeth, starts school in January 2018. Our Nannies over the years have all played an important part in our life, regardless of how long or short their time with us has been. They have seen us at our best and at our worst, and they continue to be viewed by us as valued members of our family.
I finally feel almost ready to step into the world, having been so well supported while having preschool children. The combination of Playcentre and Home Based Care has been perfect, and helped the aspirations of our family continue to grow.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Home Based Care with Home Grown Kids. They are the perfect family to take care of any preschool child, as well as provide a whole Early Childhood Education experience. Home Grown Kids value lifelong learning, they develop strong relationships which build trust and respect - valuable for building strong learning foundations - and they recognise that the child learns best within a supported family.
Thank you all so very much for supporting our family, working collaboratively with us, respecting our values, and for helping us do the best we can for our family."
"Hi I’m Rosie and I just celebrated my 21st!
I went to Otumoetai College and now work in Marketing at Metro Marketing.
When we (my two brothers and I) were little, Shona from HGK looked after us. She was the best, I remember that we did kiss/hug/hongi every time we saw her in the morning and at the end of the day. We used to go to the Oropi swimming pools and would often make play-doh – it’s funny the things that you remember! I also remember being really sad when she stopped looking after us as we moved onto school.
It’s hard to remember everything we did from all those years ago, there were so many memories. I know that our regular activities included swings, games, school, walks, animal trips, beach days and HGK days - where all the nannies and families would come together. I fondly remember playing memory a lot, lots of other card games and Stacey the 'toy library lady' [then Coordinator, now Co-owner] visiting us, that was always a great day.
We still keep in contact with Shona, we call her aunty Shonz. HGK definitely made a difference to my life, even now. I often tease Mum that Shonz did all the legwork for her, but she really was so integral to our upbringing. I go and see her boy Jake now and catch up as much as we can. She really is like an aunty to us."
Michelle's Story (Rosie's Mum)
"Shona was the glue for our family's lifestyle, and she played a critical role in our ability to both return to work with true 'peace of mind' that the children were in excellent care and a nurturing environment.
Not only was she a wonderful friend to us, she was a friend and mentor to Rosie, Sam and Matt and it gives me great satisfaction to see that they have retained a special friendship with her to this day.
Over and above this, I can't speak highly enough of the team at Home Grown Kids and the support they gave us all - with activities, toys, resources and employment processing support. It was a win/win/win relationship on steroids really. Twenty out of ten!"