Updated: Nov 15, 2019
To say Angela Coop is busy is an understatement. The Auckland mother of five is also a PORSE educator, caring for her youngest child and five others. Angela has always stayed home to take care of her children, who now range in age from two to 13.
“I was working for an accounting firm when I had my first child. However, I didn’t return to work after I had my second child as it became too expensive to put them both into day care – essentially I would have gone back to work to pay for care! My partner is a truck driver and works long hours, so staying at home worked for the family on many levels,” she says.
In 2012, Angela decided to join PORSE and become an educator.
“I did some research about what was involved in becoming an educator and because I had been quite involved in the local Playcentre with my older children and had done the Centre’s training programme, I already knew quite a bit about what was involved in early childhood care.”
Angela’s sister’s two children were her first enrolments.
“My sister needed to go back to work, and as she was a solo mother, had to place her two children in care. We felt it was a no brainer for me to look after her children as well as my own. When she moved to Australia, I decided to continue my in-home educator role with PORSE and expand my business.”
For new educators, PORSE offers a $500 business start-up package that includes initial marketing collateral. As all PORSE in-home educators are self-employed contractors, Angela needed to set up her own business, something she says was “easy”.
“PORSE was great in helping me establish my business. They told me what I needed, supported me and I was also lucky as I already had a house full of resources from my own children.”
Angela is one of 1,100 PORSE educators in New Zealand who care for more than 3,000 families’ children. Most of her families come through word of mouth and recommendations from friends and family. She finds it easy to attract new families, especially with the benefits of in-home childcare.
“In-home care develops more of a bond between carer and child. It’s a home away from home and for most of the children, you’re the only other adult in their life apart from their immediate family. It’s a consistent and important relationship that is able to grow.”
Angela has completed her Level 3 NZ Certificate in Early Childhood Education and has enrolled to start Level 4, a qualification PORSE has developed and offers free to educators.
With her four other children at school, holidays are always an enjoyable time in Angela’s household.
“The older ones like to help out with the younger toddlers and babies. It’s a learning opportunity for both. The flexibility of being an educator means that if I need to go somewhere or do something, I take the children with me. I’m really passionate about in-home care and love what I do.”
PORSE offers programmes that see educators getting out and about each week with their children, including dance classes, music, playgroups, gymnastics and special events such as beach days.
“This is a big reason why I’m so happy to be part of PORSE. I love that they offer great activities for the families free of charge that mean we can mix up our days and get out into the community.
“Being a PORSE educator definitely works for our family and our lifestyle. I get the best of both worlds - being my own boss and being able to stay home with my children. I’m able to be involved in their early childhood education as well as having flexibility, which is so important to family life.”