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Action Plan to Increase Parents & Carers Choices

Action Plan to Increase Choices for Parents & Carers

Prime Minister Helen Clark tonight announced a 10-year plan of action to improve support for children and families by increasing the choices available for parents and carers.

"Balancing work and caring is an issue that faces many New Zealanders, with 43% of employees saying they are responsible for the care of someone, such as a child or elderly relative," Helen Clark said.

"Men and women have told us that they want real choices about how they balance their caring responsibilities, their involvement in paid work, time for leisure and learning, and time to be involved with friends, family and the community.

"The Choices for Living, Caring and Working plan I am announcing at tonight's EEO Trust Work and Life Awards, is the Labour-led government's 10-year plan of action to address these needs.

"The plan has six key areas of activity which will enable people to balance their work and caring responsibilities:

Supporting parents who wish to care for their children themselves in their first year of life Ensuring families with children under five can access and participate in high quality, affordable early childhood education Ensuring families have better access to quality, affordable, and age-appropriate out of school services for their school-age children Improving the choices for the one-in-five New Zealanders who are caring for adults of all ages Encouraging flexible work practices An ongoing commitment to monitoring, research and evaluation of these issues.

"High quality education and care options and supportive employment arrangements will improve outcomes for families, children, carers, disabled people, people who are unwell and older people.

"This plan builds on a number of existing government initiatives by a range of government agencies and partners, such as the Early Childhood Education Strategic Plan, Working for Families, the Work-Life Balance Project and the Workplace Productivity Agenda.

"The vision is for workplaces, communities and the government to work together to provide New Zealand parents and carers with real choices for living, caring and working," she said.


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