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National will invest in the first 1,000 days

National is proposing a range of new policies that will support families to give Kiwi kids the best possible start to their lives, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“National wants all new mums and dads equipped with the right skills, relationships and access to support services which will see their child grow up in a healthy, secure and nurturing family environment.

“The first 1,000 days in a child’s life are the most important in setting up their future, and this starts during pregnancy.

“In our Social Services Discussion Document, National is proposing introducing a target that would see 90 per cent of pregnant women registered with a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) in their first trimester. Regular engagement with an LMC is associated with better pregnancy outcomes and normal, healthy births.

“The first few days after giving birth can be some of the most challenging for new mums. That’s why we’re committing to all new mums being entitled to three days of fully funded care in a postnatal facility of their choosing, whether that’s a hospital or birthing unit.

“Some mums have higher needs than others, but National will use our Social Investment approach to ensure we’re actively working with them to address the challenges they face. We want to support vulnerable new mums into stable, healthy homes, with access to parenting education, healthcare, childcare and financial assistance when they need it.

“We’ll also look at increasing the number of home visits to new parents from Well Child Tamariki Ora providers, because we recognise that they have trusted relationships with families and are best placed to pick up any issues or challenges that will impact children from early on.

“By investing in the first 1,000 days, National will ensure that all families are supported to give Kiwi kids the best start to their lives.

“National is aspirational for New Zealanders. We want to give New Zealanders the support they need early on, so they reach their full potential and live better lives.”

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