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Littlies Lobby Urges Investment in the Early Years

Littlies Lobby Urges Investment in the Early Years

As election year gets underway, the Littlies Lobby is urging all political parties to make a commitment to policies that will ensure investment in the early years of child development.

“It is critical that New Zealand creates a social, economic and political environment that supports the necessary investment in the early years, and political parties can assist this process,” says Deborah Morris-Travers, Littlies Lobby Coordinator.

“With the solid foundation of a child’s social, educational, and health development in place, the future prospects for children are significantly improved.

“Evidence demonstrates that the brains of neglected or abused children don’t develop properly, leading to poor physical and mental health, poorer educational performance, an inability to form secure attachments to others and poor socialisation.

“The harm caused by such circumstances can be avoided and in the interests of all of us, we must ensure early investment in child development.

“Many different policies can help this by placing priority on children, as well as supporting and valuing the roles of parents and caregivers. These can include funding for appropriate well child health and early childhood education services, providing social support, promoting flexible work practices and family-friendly policies in the work place and funding positive parenting programmes.

“This year presents an opportunity for all political parties to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the future safety, security and prosperity of New Zealand by promoting policies that will ensure investment in our young people takes place,” says Ms Morris-Travers.

The Littlies Lobby is a joint initiative of Plunket and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. It is designed to increase awareness of the importance of the early years of a child’s life and promote the wellbeing of children and families. The first Littlies Lobby event for 2005 is a parliamentary breakfast on Wednesday 2 March, at which Dr Bruce Perry, a neuro-biologist at the leading edge of child brain development research, will speak.

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