What really makes children happy?
In fact, children themselves say that their well-being and happiness depends on the simple things in life like family time and outdoor play.
Of course, children living in poverty are in urgent need of financial support to give them an acceptable standard of living, but quality of life is about much more than material things. For a child to grow and develop emotionally, intellectually and physically, they need to be given as many opportunities as possible to express themselves freely, discover the world around them and interact with others - to simply be children.
Why are children in the UK so low down on the well-being league table?
From a young age, children and adults in the UK are given targets to meet and put under pressure from a society which places emphasis on work, money and material possessions. This leaves less quality time for adults to talk, laugh, get outdoors and play with children. It also means that we as adults miss out on valuable opportunities to learn from and about our children.
How can we improve children's and families' well-being?
We believe that government policy needs to put a lot more emphasis on well-being over financial goals and targets - and a big part of this is ensuring that children have stable family lives with adults that have the time, freedom and resources to take part in regular play-based activities with them.
How can we ensure that children with special needs have equal opportunities to play and develop?
There is also a lot of work to be done to ensure that families with children who have disabilities have equal access to resources, space, time and opportunities to play and develop. Too often, children with special needs are isolated from other children and their families and not given the opportunity to just be children.
Read more at http://www.oaoa.com/articles/child-76160-parenting-year
About this Study
Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) is completing its latest community inquiry, Children 1-2-3: Early Learning for Future Success. This community engagement process has been examining the question, "How can Jacksonville best foster early learning success for children from birth to age 3 in our community?" Over the course of the process (October 2011 through April 2012), the meeting schedule, meeting summaries, key handouts and relevant articles have all been posted here. To find out more, please email email@example.com.