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What is in the Best Interests and Rights of Children: A Mother's View

 

[blockquote]A reality I am seeing that worries me, is a loss of confidence in parenting, and in parents understanding their crucial role as their children's 'first teachers', particularly among the educated middle class parents I spend much of my time with. [/blockquote]

 

Presentation by Michelle Rush, a mother and an invited panel discussant, at the 2nd Future for Children national policy forum, March 2011, Wellington

Greetings everyone.  I'm going to provide a perspective as a parent on the question we've looked at today – early childhood education and care policy.

I'd like to take a broader look at this question beyond formal preschool education settings, which we've heard a lot about so far today.

My focus today, is mainly on the under three's.

Dr Frances Press, in her presentation today, talked about "Modernity's Paradox" and the phenomenon of worsening child outcomes despite increasing economic wealth. To me this underlines why we need to look more broadly at children and their families and indeed society's needs – beyond the formal education setting.

My views reflect my experience, and the experience I've seen among my friends and family as parents of babies and pre-school children. They also reflect what I've learned and read about child development.



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