National’s 7-point plan for children’s first 1000 days

National understands the first one thousand days of a child’s life is the most critical period in their development. We’ve committed to a seven-part First 1000 Days policy to target spending to create better lives for young Kiwis.

Studies have shown countries that fail to invest in the wellbeing of women and children during this crucial time will suffer worse economic results in the future, through lower productivity and higher health costs.

Our package will give parents control and choice over the type of support they receive, regardless of their situation or parenting experience.

The First 1,000 Days package includes:

  • Empowering parents – An entitlement worth up to $3000 for all expecting mothers that can be used to commission services to support their child’s first 1,000 days of development.  Mothers and babies who have higher needs will be entitled to up to $3,000 additional funding, along with support to help them choose the services they need.

  • Enhanced screening – This includes pre and post-birth GP visits, and a revamped B4 School check at age three to identify developmental concerns and trigger early intervention services.

  • Three day postnatal stay – All new mothers will be entitled to a three day stay in their postnatal facility.

  • Child passport – An enhanced version of the current Well Child/Tamariki Ora book with electronic record-keeping, this will record needs identified through screening and track progress to key physical, emotional, developmental and education milestones. It will be used to ensure that early action is taken to address issues or additional needs.

  • Paid parental leave at the same time – Parents will be given a choice about when they take their leave – either one parent at a time or both parents at the same time if that’s what they prefer. We believe both parents should have the opportunity to bond with their baby during the first months of life, and we support parents to make the best decisions for their family.

  • National Centre for Child Development – Headquartered at a university, the Centre will bring together the best of child health, neuroscience and education research. Its job is to improve best-practice for child development throughout the early childhood system.

  • Lower adult-to-child ratios for under two year olds – To ensure these children receive the very best care during this critical time, National will progressively lower the adult-to-child ratio at ECE centres looking after under two year olds.

National believes in empowering parents to make decisions about their children and their own wellbeing.

You can read more about our First 1,000 Days policy here.