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

 

The policy governments failed to deliver

TOO LATE TO WAIT

New Zealand’s largest early childhood provider writes the policy governments failed to deliver.

BestStart Education and Care

The country’s biggest early childhood provider says its not prepared to wait any longer for official action to address the overwhelming issues around obesity among our preschoolers.

BestStart Deputy CEO Fiona Hughes, whose organisation operates more than two hundred and seventy centres throughout the country, says the evidence is overwhelming that what happens during those early childhood years sets the pattern the rest of the children’s lives.

That means good nutrition and activity policies are essential, but BestStart is disappointed these have been ignored by successive governments. In light of this, they are going to take the initiative themselves.

Fiona Hughes says “This is too important to be left waiting on some sort of official policy, the evidence has been around for years and all the research says ignoring the problem is consigning our children to a disadvantaged future.”

“Given 23% of NZ children are overweight, a further 11% are obese, that children are less likely to be physically active if attending centres, and that 95% of NZ children attend early childhood centres, we can’t afford to wait for meaningful change.”

Compounding the problem are reports from teachers concerned with the level of training they received around nutrition and activity.

In 2016 BestStart funded research with Massey, Waikato University and Jumping Beans gym (PEECh, attached) into physical activity and nutritional knowledge in early childhood centres. The research found a lack of confidence, skills and knowledge in teachers to teach and integrate physical activity into the early childhood curriculum. There are concerns that initial teacher education often contains a very limited level of training. Some teachers report just a couple of hours to a day spent on nutritional or physical subjects throughout their entire teacher training.

Taking the initiative in the early childhood centres makes sense given other international research. What it shows says Hughes is that “children in centres are less likely to be as active as they would be at home and children are more likely to be overweight. Exacerbating this issue is that while there are guidelines for physical activity in early childhood centres, we understand these are discretionary.

Our research highlighted the positive impact that professional learning and development could have on teachers’ knowledge, skills and confidence in these areas.”

Because of the research, BestStart is working alongside Jumping Beans and the Heart Foundation to introduce the Hauora Wellbeing Initiative to all 270 of BestStart’s centres nationally. Through the review of policies, practice guidelines and professional development, this initiative will target an increase in physical activity and nutritional health for all children. The goal is for every BestStart centre to achieve a silver or gold level of the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Award.

“By doing this, our hope is that BestStart will contribute to setting healthy eating and physical activity habits that will last a lifetime, changing the trajectory of health outcomes in our children’s adult lives,” says Hughes.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Saudi Oil Refinery Crisis

So the US and the Saudis claim to have credible evidence that those Weapons of Oil Destruction came from Iran, their current bogey now that Saddam Hussein is no longer available.

Evidently, the world has learned nothing from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when dodgy US intel was wheeled out to justify the invasion of Iraq, thereby giving birth to ISIS and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. More>>

 

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>

ALSO:

'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>

ALSO:

Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels