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Commissioner supports 13 months paid leave

28 August 2007

Children’s Commissioner supports 13 months paid leave for parents

Children’s Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro, supports the Families Commission’s recommendation that the government’s parental leave policy should be extended so that more people are eligible for more support.

The Families Commission is recommending that by 2015, parents are provided with a total of 13 months paid leave, including a month’s paid leave for fathers. Parental leave would continue to be fully funded by the government
“The early years of a child’s life are very important. Investments in childhood are most likely to bring good returns to society as a whole,” says Dr Kiro.

“The family is a child’s first and most crucial environment. Given that the environment a child is exposed to during this time may have such a profound and lasting effect, we need to support parents and carers to give their children the best possible environment for their development and wellbeing during this crucial time.”

If paid parental leave provisions were improved in New Zealand so that families could afford to look after their own children when they are very young, and are properly supported to do so, society could reap the benefit of a generation of babies and children who are more able to establish trusting relationships with others, and better social competency and educational outcomes in their teenage years and beyond.”

“I encourage government to make the investment to provide 13 months paid leave and support parents and babies at this crucial time,” says Dr Kiro.

ENDS

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