By Arwen Hann
Most early childhood education services strive to work with the parents and whanau of their children, and to identify any problems that the children in their care might have, but there is probably always more that can be done.
The government has indicated it wants to increase ECE participation in low decile areas where families often need extra help, so it may be that in the future ECE services become places where parents can access more than just childcare, places that also offer access to health and welfare services as well.
One way in which this is already being done is the Family Partnership Model, which is used in New Zealand by Plunket in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development.
The model was introduced to New Zealand in 2006 and is currently provided by Family and Community Services, part of the Ministry of Social Development, and Plunket. Around 1000 people have taken part in courses from organisations including the police, Work and Income, Child, Youth and Family and Parent Help.
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