In 2018, early childhood centres were crying out for help for their littlest learners living in hardship. KidsCan responded with nutritious lunches, raincoats, shoes and head lice treatment for under 5s in 25 centres. And it worked.
In a recent study completed by the University of Waikato*, researchers found that after six months in a KidsCan pilot programme, kids were energised, more engaged in learning, and had fewer health issues. In an interview with KidsCan, Neuroscience educator Nathan Wallis noted, “Good nutrition is crucial because a child’s brain is just not going to develop without it... Feeding kids in early childhood is actually just a really smart investment. That’s really where you’re going to make a difference in the whole lifespan.”
KidsCan has since extended the programme to 36 more centres. But even then, there are still almost 4,000 preschoolers waiting for help as the Covid-19 fallout hits under 5s. These are real stories: siblings with only a packet of two-minute noodles to share for the day, children shivering without enough warm clothes, and several families crammed into houses to afford rent. The work KidsCan does to help these whānau is incredible, and we’re proud to have been at their side since 2013. Because it takes all of us to look after our own backyard.
If you’d like to help Kiwi kids stay warm, full and ready to learn, show your support now or find out more about the life-changing work that KidsCan does.
*Source: Impact Evaluation of the KidsCan Early Childhood Pilot Programme