Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has today announced the Government will restore more than $1.9 million of funding to the Growing Up in New Zealand study.
Growing Up in New Zealand is the country’s largest longitudinal study of child development gathering information over time about what it’s like to grow up in 21st century New Zealand.
“Today’s announcement means all of the 6,800-plus families who have been part of the study since it began can now be invited to participate in the current round of data collection,” said Carmel Sepuloni.
“One of the Growing Up study’s unique characteristics is its diversity* and restoring the sample from 2,000 back to its original size will allow for more detailed analysis of different ethnic groups such as Māori and Pacific peoples.
“Our decision to restore funding also comes at a critical point in the project, where for the first time the study is hearing from the children themselves,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“This Government wants New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child. Hearing the voice of children will be a powerful contribution to government policy makers’ and service providers’ understanding of how to best meet the needs of diverse New Zealand families and children.
“The participant children are now eight years old and study interviewers are currently in the field for the Eight Year Data Collection Wave. Around 2,000 child interviews have been completed to date and, with the new funding, interviews will now continue through the rest of 2018.
Findings from the Growing Up in New Zealand study, and further research done with anonymised data from the study, help inform which services and supports can give New Zealand children the best start in life.
“Since the study’s inception in 2008, more than 90,000 interviews have been carried out and more than 50 million pieces of data collected,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“Information from the study has provided insights into a diverse range of areas such as paid parental leave, immunisation, family housing and mobility, household safety, participation in Early Childhood Education and pre- and post-natal depression among fathers.”