Party leaders must put #ChildrenAtTheHeart of the election

We have joined more than 140 charities who are calling on all party leaders to set out how children and young people will be prioritised in the next Parliament. The open letter highlights that there are almost 14 million children in the UK but so far their voices have been missing from the national conversation.

The charities are asking each of the party leaders to put children at the heart of this election, and to commit to three actions:

  • To set out their party’s priorities for vulnerable children – to protect children from challenges such as growing up in poverty, or experiencing poor mental health, online harm, violence or exploitation.
  • To put children at the front of the queue for investment – to ensure there are the services and professionals available to help children and families to thrive.
  • To re-balance spending – by investing in early intervention programmes which have been proven to work, moving away from the trend towards spending on late intervention services.

Zillah Bingley, Rainbow Trust Chief Executive, said:

‘Far too little attention has been paid to children’s needs during this election campaign, and particularly the needs of the most vulnerable such as children with life threatening and terminal conditions. General elections are the moments when we debate and decide the nation’s future. There is no greater investment that we, as a society, and party leaders, as politicians, can make for our future prosperity than ensuring every child gets the best start in life.

This is especially important for seriously ill children and their families, for whom time is so precious. Right now, too many families are coping alone. It’s about time that every family got the support they need. We are calling on party leaders to set out what they will do to listen to children and young people, and to put them at the heart of the next Parliament’s programme of work.’

Signatories to the letter include Action for Children, Barnardo’s, National Children’s Bureau, NSPCC, The Children’s Society, Sibs UK and Together for Short Lives. Read the full letter here.

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