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Save the Children supports The Netherlands study

Save the Children supports The Netherlands study recommendation of a Children's Action Plan

A new report released today shows respect for children, and an approach from government that supports all parents, are factors that contribute to child wellbeing in the Netherlands.

The study examines OECD levels of spending on children and families between New Zealand, where US$14,000 is spent per annum per child, and the Netherlands - where annual spend is US$24,000.

Although the Netherlands spend less than other Nordic countries, the central role of families in bringing up children is widely acknowledged. This translates into an understanding that investing in support for parents delivers positive outcomes for children, families, wider society and the economy.

The Netherlands Study was commissioned by Every Child Counts (ECC) to identify policies that contribute to the Netherlands having some of the best child outcomes amongst OECD countries.

The report makes several recommendations for action in New Zealand, including an effective investment approach to supporting children and families. It outlines how spending more, earlier, to help strengthen families can prevent poor outcomes for children later on.

Save the Children New Zealand is a member of Every Child Counts and works for children and young people in New Zealand. The organisation hopes that the study will provide useful insight into how to improve the status and wellbeing children in New Zealand.

“Through this study New Zealand can take practical steps to improve children’s lives,” said Save the Children New Zealand CEO Liz Gibbs.

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“In particular, we support the study’s recommendation for the introduction of a Children’s Action Plan, which includes children’s voices on policy affecting them. Save the Children has been working with young people to understand their perspectives on what needs to be done to improve their opportunities in life.”

“In 2011, 131 children and young people provided Save the Children with their views on the government’s Green Paper for Vulnerable Children. Today they continue to debate the issues that matter to them on our Hear Our Voices Values Exchange (VX) website.

“By including the voices of young people on issues that matter to them, we can develop that culture of respect for our children and help build the case for better investment in their future,” she said.

“In New Zealand poor outcomes for children in areas like health and education cost at least $8 billion per annum. What this report tells us is that to truly value our children we need to spend some to save some,” said Ms Gibbs.

ENDS

Note to Editors
The Netherlands Study will be launched at Parliament at 1pm on Wednesday 22 August at an event co-hosted by National MP Alfred Ngaro and Labour MP Jacinda Ardern, in association with the Embassy of the Netherlands.

A summary of the report is available from Every Child Counts: www.everychildcounts.org.nz

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