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Report provides unique insights into contemporary families

Growing Up in New Zealand Report provides unique insights into contemporary NZ families

The Families Commission welcomes the latest Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) report released today which provides a unique insight into the critical first 1000 days of approximately 7,000 children and their families.

Growing Up in New Zealand is the country’s largest, and most ethnically and economically diverse, longitudinal study ever undertaken in New Zealand. It is studying the life of these children and their families, recruited from across the greater Auckland and Waikato regions. The study is based at the University of Auckland and the Families Commission manage the GUiNZ contract.

Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes believes this report is an important resource that will contribute evidence of what works for children and families in contemporary New Zealand.

“We know the first 1000 days are critical in a child’s development, setting a foundation for: brain development; acquisition of language skills; physical development; gaining of social skills and cultural capacity; health and wellbeing. This uniquely New Zealand report will inform key social, health and education issues that we as parents, whānau and decision-makers are facing.

“This report gives us many new insights including the children’s interaction with music, books and technology during this period. It will be interesting to follow the development of technological natives.

“It also demonstrates that families are highly mobile which creates significant implications for both central and local government in planning and delivering health care, education and social services to children and their families.

The focus for the Families Commission is to increase the use of the study data so decision-makers across the research, central and local government, and community sectors have the information they need to make better informed decisions.”

‘Now We Are Two: Describing our first 1000 days’ builds on the previous reports from Growing Up in New Zealand released in 2010 and 2012, which described these same families and children before they were born and throughout infancy.

A further report exploring the children’s vulnerability is to be released later next month.

ENDS

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