Inquiry into care of under-5s

The Press 06/08/2009

An investigation has been launched into the risks of New Zealand’s world-leading rates of out-of-home care for preschoolers. The inquiry by Children’s Commissioner John Angus comes amid concerns about growing numbers of five-year-olds arriving at school ill-prepared to cope. Angus said the current generation of youngsters was the first in which most spent a large part of their early childhood in some form of out-of-home care and education.

He was concerned at the high numbers of children aged two and under in daycare. “The opportunities and risks in these new patterns of care need to be carefully explored and conveyed to parents,” he said in his first statement of intent since taking up the commissioner’s role in May. Childcare rates for New Zealand’s under-fives are among the highest in the world.