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Children’s Commissioner supports B4 school checks

21 August 2007

Children’s Commissioner supports B4 school checks

Children’s Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro, supports the introduction of the B4 School checks to identify any health, behavioural, social, or developmental concerns which could affect a child's ability to learn at school.

If any concerns are identified, action can be taken to support the child, their family and the school to improve the child's health and educational outcomes. The programme was launched yesterday with a pilot in Counties Manukau and Whanganui District Health Boards. The programme will be funded with an extra 23.6 million over four years.

“Investment in better health outcomes for children is very important. Investments in childhood are most likely to bring good returns to society as a whole. Economic modelling shows that the optimum return to investment in human capital occurs in the first years of life,” says Dr Kiro.

“The B4 School programme fits well with my proposal for the establishment of an plan for every child through an integrated framework for children and their families that would provide a foundation for more co-ordinated strategies. An integrated framework would bring a systematic child-focused approach to monitoring the development of every child and young person in New Zealand through co-ordinated planned assessment at key life stages and supporting families to make sure children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The assessments would take into account the whole child: their physical, social, educational, emotional, and psychological development.”

“With more investment in programmes and systems just as these, I believe we can make real improvements in outcomes for our children,” says Dr Kiro.

ENDS

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