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TOPIC: Do we have an early childhood industry disruptor?

Do we have an early childhood industry disruptor? 9 months 2 weeks ago #901

  • Dr Sarah
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UPDATE 21 Nov 2019
14-hour days for children in ECE – the new future?
The Rainbow Group has announced it will shortly launch a new service for 200 children that will be open for 14-hour days. It is understood that the Ministry of Education declined the Rainbow Group's request for longer hours.

"The Centre will open from 6am to 8pm. it’s a number Mr Dosshi is hoping to increase."

“Over the past two decades we have been building and operating early learning childcare centres and have seen the need for extended hours from parents and caregivers. This is in response to the increase in people’s shift workers with their early starts and late finishes. It’s the future of centre-based childcare."


Located in east Auckland, the centre will be African-themed and children will be taught athletics and soccer (it will feature an athletics track and soccer field). Parents will be able to purchase meals to take home from the Dosshi’s catering company.

Extending an education service into the evening risks turning it into almost residential care. If ECE is provided round-the-clock does it cease to be education and become residential care? At present the Government funds a maximum of 30 hours education in early childhood and schools generally operate 6-hour days.
The owners need to look at ensuring parents and caregivers of children at their new centre, have opportunities to learn how to parent and to do important things for relationships and learning together such as reading to their child and cooking with their child.
Over the years other early childhood services providers have tried the idea of extending the provision of ECE into evening and overnight care, but have found parents generally prefer to have their child with family members or in a home environment at night.

Original article
Bucklands Beach couple, Rrahul and Bhavini Dosshi have purchased the PORSE home-based and training businesses from Evolve Education.
Think Uber for taxis. Netflix for Sky. Specsavers for optometrists. These are disruptors of existing industry structures.
Are we seeing the same thing in early childhood education?
The Dosshi’s have not been involved in running ECE services for very long – they opened their first centre in 2011 in Gisborne (the first Rainbow Corner centre).
The acquisition of PORSE now makes them a significant or major player in the ECE sector.
Evolve did not see PORSE as a good investment. However the new owners could in future provide major competition to Evolve centres around the country.
Significant compliance problems in a number of PORSE services prior to the sale would likely have been a headache to Evolve and for its investors too (see more details below).
Mr Dosshi said the immediate plan for PORSE is to continue expansion.
They also own a childcare centre in Mumbai/ India, a centre in Fiji, two Rainbow Corner Home-based services in Mangere East, Rainbow Corner Learning Centres in Takanini and Mangere, and further learning centres are in development in Auckland and Hamilton. Rainbow Corner also provides OSCAR programmes for school-age children.
Last year the Ministry of Education downgraded Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre Takanini to a provisional licence. It was placed on a provisional licence for nine months due to multiple breaches in minimum requirements across areas of child health and safety, curriculum, premises and facilities and management and administration. In addition, the centre was breaking the law in respect of regulation 44(1) (b) Schedule 2 note 1: “For every service, a person must be 17 years or older and involved in duties other than food preparation and serving, administrative duties, and maintenance to count as an adult.”
Clearly, the ministry is unconcerned about this background or they have satisfied any concerns that the Ministry may have.
The Dosshi’s are not limiting themselves to being only ECE service providers - it would appear that they are innovative, thinking beyond and also 'outside of the square'. The Rainbow Group of companies is developing an integrated childcare business management app and will be marketing this to other ECE services. The Rainbow Group has established a catering company to provide meals and snacks for children at early childhood centres around New Zealand.
A substantial increase in the net financial worth of PORSE is predicted. Part of this will be the growth in demand for training both by people wishing to be taken on as independent contractors by PORSE to provide home-based care and by educators working for all other home-based services who do not hold at least a Level 4 ECE qualification.
Mr Dosshi said: “PORSE has a very successful education and training programme and is the only provider to offer online qualification programmes – we see this as a very important advantage, especially considering the government’s homebased review suggests all educators will need a minimum Level 4 qualification in the future.”
In 2018 the Rainbow Corner Group of Companies were the Title Sponsors of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards, the Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture and the Indian Newslink Sports and Community Awards.
“The sponsorship of three premier events of our favourite newspaper will help us to leverage our band value and increase awareness of our products and services.”
The entrance of the Dosshi’s as a leading owner of ECE services and their multi-faceted approach to market penetration may leave other ECE providers feeling a little or very unsettled, however I wish them well.

What you might know about PORSE
* PORSE was started by mother and entrepreneur Jenny Yule in 1994. By 2009 PORSE operated 36 offices across New Zealand with 200 staff supporting the work of 2,000 educators. PORSE was sold to a new publicly listed company EVOLVE Education in 2014.
* In 2017 the Ministry of Education downgraded around 42 in-home PORSE services to a provisional licence due to failure to meet minimum standards. The shortest time it took any one of these PORSE services to reach compliance with basic standards (while still operating and caring for children) was 2 days and the longest was 11 months.
* In 2017 a PORSE educator shook and inflicted serious injuries on an infant, resulting in possible permanent brain injury, a broken arm and detached retinas. At sentencing the district court judge said that the educator was totally out of her depth in the work she was doing caring for children. The educator also suffered from depression and panic attacks and was under extreme financial pressure to continue working due to her family losing its business. The judge declined to comment on the checking that was done by PORSE before it took her on and no comment was made on the supervision and support it provided to ensure children’s safety in her care. ( read more )
* In 2018 PORSE continued to have compliance problems - the Ministry of Education suspended the licenses of 11 PORSE services and downgraded the licences of 3 to provisional. Under the regulations a licence is suspended when it becomes unsafe for enrolled children to attend, reasons may include physical ill-treatment of children or the service provider not demonstrating adequate control of what is happening within it.

Update
* In May 2019 a PORSE in-home educator was found guilty of two charges of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard for the safety of a child who needed brain surgery after being violently shake. A psychological report showed the educator contracted by PORSE was not well-suited for working with young children. She was sentenced to three years in prison in the Napier District Court there was no prosecution taken out against the PORSE company.

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