The Childhood Policy Programme

Parent and child reading a book on the floor
This programme seeks to re-frame debates around childhood in both the public and policy spaces and break down academic, policy and professional silos to explore new conceptualisations of the roles of children in policymaking.
Start date
Programme status

About the Programme

The experience of being a child in the United Kingdom has changed hugely over the last 150 years – particularly in terms of how children are viewed, valued and cared for. Policymaking and research relating to children have also undergone dramatic changes during this period.

The Childhood Policy Programme has investigated different aspects of these changes through a number of research activities, including policymaking landscape reviews for each of the four UK nations; case studies on approaches across the four UK nations towards children leaving care and childhood poverty, and evidence on the effectiveness of these different approaches; and a series of stakeholder workshops with policymakers, practitioners and academics.

Phase I

During its first phase in 2018-19, the Childhood Policy Programme investigated the evolution of childhood policy through a number of research activities, along with the convening of a number of events.

Phase II

The second phase of the programme commenced in 2020 with the articulation of three themes that developed out of the outputs and activities that had taken place during Phase I. These three themes comprised:

  • Being a child versus becoming an adult
  • Rights-based approaches to policy
  • Children’s voices and participation

In addition to these three themes, the second phase of the programme has been underpinned by two cross-cutting themes: inequalities; and variations between the four parts of the UK.

Reframing Childhood: the final report of the Childhood Policy Programme

This final report summarises the work of the Childhood Policy Programme and sets out seven evidence-informed principles for those working in the policy ecosystem. These principles are intended to prompt discussion and debate on childhood policy, including the way children are conceptualised in policy and the role they play in the policymaking process.

Contact Details

For further information, please contact: [email protected]

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