Labour will expand the role of Plunket and other child health providers so that for the first time they can get alongside vulnerable mums before their baby is even born, Labour Leader David Shearer has announced.
“Too many of our kids fall through the cracks and suffer neglect, hardship and abuse. We need to work with young mums and dads to make sure they have the skills and support they need to make the best decisions for their children.
“Plunket is a national treasure and has helped generations of Kiwi kids get a great start in life. It has a long tradition of looking after our youngest and most vulnerable and I want to see us build on that success.
“That’s why the next Labour government will fund a nurse to make extra visits in the home of the most in-need mums before baby is even born.
Labour’s Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern, says not all new-born babies are receiving the seven Well Child visits they’re entitled to or need simply because they’re not enrolled, have lost contact with the provider, or funding isn’t available.
“We know that a good relationship with a nurse, formed in the home, can make a real difference to the wellbeing of both mother and baby.
“We also know that there is a small group of families who need even greater support. Labour will ensure there is a fully co-ordinated new mum’s programme in every District Health Board to provide that.
David Shearer says the package represents a $6millon per annum investment in the most crucial period of a child’s life.
“Given we spend an estimated $6 billion a year on the effects of child poverty, and children having a poor start in life, this is just one way that we can start to invest, in order to save.
“Labour is committed to giving children the best start in life. This policy demonstrates that commitment.”