Our children, our choice: Priorities for policy.

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Ritchie, Jenny
Harvey, Nola
Kayes, Marianne
Smith, Carol
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Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
early childhood care
early childhood education
child poverty
Ritchie, J., Harvey, N., Kayes, M., and Smith, C. (2014). Our children, our choice: Priorities for policy. Child Poverty Action Group Policy Paper Series. Part Two: Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE). Retrieved from http://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/Publications/1410063-0%20Our%20Children%20Our%20Choice%202014.pdf
Children’s rights were invited late to the table of human rights’ discussions. Since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) in 1989, there has been growing recognition of the rights of even very young children. Aotearoa New Zealand has pledged certain rights to our children, founded in recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (1840), the laws of the land, and international treaties. As well as UNCROC, we are signatories to the United Nations International Convention of the Rights of Indigenous People (2007). In addition to the most basic protected rights explicitly stated in national and international treaties and laws, there are moral imperatives to protect the most vulnerable. We live with our children in communities as much as we live in political states and interconnected economies. These children’s rights include, but are not confined to: care and protection, food, shelter, and education. Implicit in these rights is quality of life: children have the right to access such qualities and conditions as: loving and respectful care; protection from mental, emotional and physical maltreatment; nutritious food to support health and growth; access to warm, dry shelter; and access to appropriate education. In 2014, we are failing in our pledges to honour the rights of our children. The nature and quality of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECCE) provision becomes more critical as children are expected to spend ever more time in care. About Child Poverty Action Group Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is an independent charity working to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand through research, education and advocacy. CPAG believes that New Zealand’s high rate of child poverty is not the result of economic necessity, but is due to policy neglect and a flawed ideological emphasis on economic incentives. Through research, CPAG highlights the position of tens of thousands of New Zealand children, and promotes public policies that address the underlying causes of the poverty they live in.
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