Child health and education
Updated: 7 November 2014
It goes without saying that health and education are vital to a child’s development. Investment in early childhood education has been shown to be able to generate higher returns than spending on education or social programmes in later life. Similarly access to healthcare for children has been shown to reduce the likelihood of serious health issues later.
While there is great stuff happening to improve health and educational outcomes, there's a number of areas New Zealand continues to struggle with. The following statistics are an example:
- NZ has rheumatic fever at 14 times the OECD average.
- The number of New Zealand babies dying in the first year of life declined from 507 deaths in 1990 to 294 deaths in 2012 but the infant mortality rate of 4.74 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012 was higher than the average of all OECD countries.
- From 2009-2014 the proportion of students leaving secondary school with no qualification decreased from 19.2% to 13.0%.
- 18% of Māori and 16% of Pasifika children are not achieving basic literacy and numeracy skills by age 10, compared to 4% of Non-Māori and Non-Pasifika children.
To find out more check out these links:
Child Poverty Action Group paper: Our children, our choice: priorities for policy part one: child poverty and health
Child Poverty Action Group paper: Our children, our choice: priorities for policy part two: Early childhood care and education, and child poverty