Skip navigation

Every Child Counts

An ageing society which doesn't care for its young has a death wish…—Professor Dame Anne Salmond

You are here > Home / Resources / Learn more about our campaign

Learn more about our campaign

1000 days to get it right for every child

The first 1000 days of a child’s life are critical to their long term development. One thousand days is also approximately the duration of one term of parliament. So either way we have about 1000 days to get it right. The future of New Zealand depends on it.

Getting it right in those first thousand days means today’s young children are given every opportunity to develop their full potential as healthy, emotionally mature, socially engaged and well-educated, productive adults.

We already invest quite a lot of money into giving kids a good start – just over US$14,339 in the first five years according to the OECD. Unfortunately that is less than the average spend of all OECD countries (US$ 30,187). And a lot less than Australia spends (US$29753.7).

The OECD has also found that New Zealand has among the worst child outcomes in the developed world. We rank 28th out of 30 countries.

That low and ineffective public investment in the early years of childhood costs us dearly – approximately 3 per cent of GDP or $6 billion.

Things need to change. That’s why we are campaigning to make it a priority issue through the 1000 days of this term of parliament.

In the first part of the campaign we –

  • Released publicly an independent report we have commissioned on the effectiveness of current public investment in New Zealand children
  • Released publicly another report into the effectiveness of public investment in Māori and Pasifika children
  • Talked to politicians of all political parties on the significance of our findings for the national economy.
  • Promoted media discussion of the issue.

Now we are –

  • Encouraging MPs of all political parties to pledge themselves to working tirelessly to give NZ children the best opportunity in the first 1000 days of their lives
  • Promoting public discussion
  • Encouraging concerned New Zealanders to raise the issue with their local MPs and urge them to work together to improve public investment in the early years.

Has your MP taken the pledge?

We are asking all MPs to take the ECC pledge for political action for children:

Having been elected to Parliament in November 2011, I pledge myself to work with the highest priority to ensure every child in New Zealand is given the best possible opportunity in their first 1000 days by

  • clear ministerial responsibility for children
  • the introduction of child impact assessment
  • development of a comprehensive programme of government action to change the status of children that includes a commitment to ending child poverty by 2020, and strategies specific to Māori and Pasifika.

Check if your local MPs have taken the pledge

Read why it is so important that they do.

Read more about New Zealand’s ineffective and low public investment in the early years of childhood

Website made by Catch