Labour has vowed to extend the role of child support service, Plunket, and other child health providers, if it wins the next election.
It today promised a $6 million package which included providing nurses to make home visits to the most vulnerable mothers before their babies were born.
Party leader David Shearer said the proposal would "work with young mums and dads to make sure they have the skills and support they need to make the best decisions for their children".
"Too many of our kids fall through the cracks and suffer neglect, hardship and abuse," he said.
Mr Shearer said the Plunket service was "a national treasure" which had helped generations of Kiwi kids get a great start in life.
"It has a long tradition of looking after our youngest and most vulnerable and I want to see us build on that success," he said.
"That's why the next Labour government will fund a nurse to make extra visits in the home of the most in-need mums before baby is even born."
Mr Shearer said his proposal represented a $6 millon per annum investment in the most crucial period of a child's life.
"Labour is committed to giving children the best start in life. This policy demonstrates that commitment."