Early years challenge. Supporting parents to give tamariki a great start in life
Author:The Southern Initiative
Source:The Southern Initiative | Auckland Council
The Challenge and the potential: Improving the Early Years of children in south Auckland
The first thousand days in a child’s life are crucial.
New Zealand and international research has consistently shown this short window is a chance to have a huge and long-term positive impact on a child’s life.
We know that early experiences and the environments in which children develop in their first thousand days can have lasting impact on their later wellbeing, learning, behaviour, and health. Getting things right when children are young is easier and more effective than trying to address issues later.
The Southern Initiative’s Early Years Challenge has examined the first thousand days through the lens of the lived experience of parents in South Auckland, combined with the insights provided by international neuro-science research, and local big data and longitudinal research.
The analysis of this data shows very clearly not only the need for action during the first thousand days in South Auckland, particularly for Māori and Pasifika families, but also that outcomes for 0-3 year olds are hidden in population level data and significantly worse than for 0-3s in the rest of Auckland.
Our focus through this challenge was to learn more about what everyday life is really like for young families in South Auckland and what will make a difference for families in this crucial period of young children’s lives.