Struggling Pasifika families can now be trained, and eventually paid, to care for their pre-school aged children at home, after a new and free child care programme was launched in Porirua East.
The Etu Ao programme provides access to 30 free hours of home-based early childhood education while a nominated caregiver receives training towards a certificate in caring for children.
Once qualified, each educator becomes a self-employed contractor who will earn up to $400 a week to care for the children - work which was previously unpaid.
One of the 13 educators who have so far graduated from the programme, Samoan grandmother Tamara Leota, says it has changed how she cares for her grandchildren at home.
She said previously the children would watch a lot of television but are now drawing and playing games.