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What Is Middle Childhood? New Guide Shines Light On Overlooked Age Group

A groundbreaking new guide highlighting the importance of middle childhood (between 5 and 12 years old) has been released today.

Te Kōrero mō ngā Tamariki: Exploring the context of middle childhood in Aotearoa New Zealand, created by the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS), is a free, easy-to-read guide focussing on understanding children aged 5 to 12 years.

NZCCSS Kaiwhakahaere Matua Nikki Hurst says the guide will be valuable to all those who work with and care about our tamariki. “We are so excited to be focusing on 5- to 12-year- olds. This is a crucial stage that, as a society, we just don't seem to have a good understanding of. Before now, any information about this age stage was scattered across the internet – we’re thrilled to be releasing this unique resource, a one-stop shop for parents, caregivers and kaimahi working with children.”

Drawing on local and international information, Te Kōrero mō ngā Tamariki takes a wide and integrated approach to middle childhood. It looks at a variety of topics, including holistic development, whānau and community dynamics, key relationships, and children’s rights and legislation.

Available now on the NZCCSS website, Hurst says the guide also features artwork and writing from tamariki currently in middle childhood. “All children are taonga and we wanted to include their creativity and views, not just write about them from afar."

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Although Te Kōrero mō ngā Tamariki has been written as an easy-to-read guide, it is also intended as a resource for those with the power to make structural change, says Hurst. “We hope it will be read by decision-makers currently making long-term choices for our tamariki in education and policy, giving them access to up-to-date thinking. It’s all very well to believe that work is done in children’s best interests, but it’s deeply important to do that with a solid understanding of the children themselves.”

NZCCSS thanks the Tindall Foundation for their generous support and to everyone who contributed to creating Te Kōrero mō ngā Tamariki, now freely available to all on the NZCCSS website at:

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