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Much needs to change for children. Like you, we want politicians to stop ignoring society’s youngest citizens and address the big issues that shape their childhood.

Use the #ChildrenAtHeart resources to join us in making sure this General Election doesn’t ignore children again.

Now is our chance to ask the politicians who want us to vote for them if they will make decisions that benefit all children.

Children’s charities working across England have pooled their experiences of working with children and families to produce a set of important demands for the next government. England’s children: a manifesto asks the government to make life fairer and happier for all children, including those in poverty, those seeking refuge here, those with extra health needs and those simply disadvantaged by the many systems that don’t recognise them as children - vulnerable citizens with the same rights as the rest of us. Although developed for the 2015 election, most of these issues still need government action.

Derived from the manifesto, below are a few questions you can put to candidates in the General Election, to find out how they plan to help England’s children. You could use these at local hustings, in a radio phone in, on social media or on your doorstep when a candidate calls:

  • There are 4 million children living in poverty in the UK, and two thirds of them have at least one parent who works. What will you do to help families struggling with low incomes and nowhere to turn?

  • Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health issue. What will you do to make sure that schools have enough resources to support children’s mental health?

  • Young people aren’t treated as equals – they aren’t eligible for housing benefit, employers don’t have to pay them as much and 16 and 17 year olds in work have to pay tax without getting to vote. Where do you stand on the issue that younger people can take on the same responsibilities as older people but not get the same support?

  • All young families rely on local services at some point, but more than 350 children’s centres have closed since 2010. What will you do to bring back the essential hubs that families need in their communities?

  • Children with disabilities and special educational needs are especially at risk in a fragmented and under-resourced NHS. How would you make sure children with additional needs can get the right ongoing support from all the services they rely on?

Manifesto demand: support to 21 for looked after children

All the questions in red are of Tweetable length. You can also download our manifesto graphics, like the one on the left, to use on social media to ask politicians what they will do on any of the 35 issues highlighted.

How will they put #ChildrenAtHeart in your community?