Commissioner to focus on child care

John Angus
John Angus
Taking a closer look at the interests of young children, given the increasing use of child care for under 2-year-olds, is one of six priorities set by new Children's Commissioner John Angus, of Lowburn.

Mr Angus (60) began work in the role last month, replacing Cindy Kiro.

His background includes social work and being a senior adviser for the Ministry of Social Development and its predecessors, leading policy work on child support, the care and protection of children and support for vulnerable families.

Since early last year, he has led work on the prevention of child abuse and neglect for the Task Force for Action on Violence Within Families.

Mr Angus works in Wellington, returning to his Lowburn home when possible.

He said the appointment, for six months until a permanent commissioner is appointed, was a great honour. The role has two main strands - monitoring the quality of the service provided to children in Child Youth and Family care and making recommendations about improvements, and acting as an advocate for children to the age of 18. Mr Angus has set six priorities for the office of the Children's Commissioner in the coming year.

One was to see if children under 2 were getting quality care in child-care centres.

"We know that under-2s need to form strong relationships with one, two or three people.

Nowadays, we have a lot of information about how the brains of young children develop.

New Zealand's use of child care for under 2s is high compared to other countries and it's a growing trend for very young people to be in a centre, so we need to ensure their best interests are being protected."

Monitoring the impact of the recession on children was another priority.


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