Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Littlies Lobby research highlights parents' views

Media statement

27 July 2005

Littlies Lobby research highlights parents' views

In the first of an annual series of research commissioned by the Littlies Lobby1 and seeking the views of parents with small children, parents have identified a range of policy measures that would assist families.

Children's Commissioner, Cindy Kiro said, "Our research highlights some of the measures governments could take in support of families, as well as providing valuable insights into parents' experiences and opinions. The findings will enable us to gauge the issues of concern to parents and, over time, identify any changes in parents' views about the social and political issues impacting the parenting environment.

"The most important issues identified by parents are 'spending quality time with their children', followed by 'providing housing and food.' For many parents, the challenge of juggling paid work with parenting takes its toll on the quality of time spent with children and meeting the basic cost of living is difficult for many, whether or not they are working," she said.

Asked about the policy measures likely to be of assistance to families, parents said most helpful are continuing free health services for under six-year-olds; and most helpful would be removing GST from basic food items; extending paid parental leave from 13 weeks to a year; and a universal tax credit system for families.

"The research also highlighted the challenges associated with accessing day-care; the sources of advice and help that parents access most regularly; and opinions on the best methods for guiding children to behave well. These are all issues that directly impact the day-to-day environment for families and the wellbeing of children.

"A significant number of those accessing paid day-care said they experienced problems getting back-up for last minute emergencies, finding day-care for a mildly sick child, and finding affordable, quality day care was also a challenge.

"Perhaps the most exciting and interesting result from the research highlights the awareness among parents that the most effective ways to guide children to behave well are positive parenting strategies," said Cindy Kiro.


1 Littlies Lobby is a joint imitative of Plunket and the Children's Commissioner. The project is designed to increase awareness of the importance of the early years of a child's life and promote the well being of children and their families.

Summary of key research findings:

What do parents think?

In a prompted question the most important issues for parents and carers of children under five years were spending quality time with their children (43 percent first mention) and providing housing and food (39 percent first mention).

Looking at what would help parents and carers of children under five years the most, respondents declared that the most helpful measures would be:

* Continuing free health services for under six year olds

* Removing GST from basic food items

* Extending paid parental leave from 13 weeks to a year, and

* Having a universal tax credit system.

Other helpful measures identified by parents were:

* Lower cost day care

* Support and recognition for a parent to stay at home with children

* Advice for new mothers

* Parenting courses and information, and

* Financial support to provide learning experiences for children.

48 percent of the parents we researched use paid day-care services. Of these:

* 59 percent said they had 'difficulty' in getting back-up for last minute emergencies

* 49 percent said they had problems finding day-care for a mildly sick child

* 45 percent said finding affordable, quality day care was a challenge

When asked where and how often they get advice and help for the care of their children:

* 54 percent of parents go to friends 'a lot' or 'quite often'

* 50 percent of parents go to their own parents 'a lot' or 'quite often'

* 45 percent go to parents' magazines 'a lot' or 'quite often'

Other sources of advice identified by parents were wider family members, the doctor, early childhood educators, Plunket, PlunketLine, church, and government agencies.

When asked what is the most effective way to guide children to behave well:

* 96 percent said praising and encouraging good behaviour is the most effective

* 94 percent leading by example

* 76 percent giving them rewards for tasks well done

* 75 percent talking to them about what is right and wrong

* 63 percent taking time out

71 percent of parents told us that "smacking when they do things wrong" was the least effective way to guide children to behave well.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news