What policies would children vote for if they could?

Green spaces for play, close to home?

Fewer exams and more emotional support at school?

Safe homes with loving carers for children who can't live with their parents?

A let-up to the money worries and housing problems that are making the adults around them so stressed? 

And children would surely demand lots of more imaginative things if we asked them. But children can't vote, and General Elections are accordingly fought and won on platforms that barely mention children except in terms of the academic achievement that will make them economically useful later on. The children's voluntary sector, therefore, has a huge responsibility to use our independence to bring attention to the issues we know are affecting children, so that voters can challenge the next government to lead a society that works for its youngest members too. 

Children England would go further and say, as we do in our organisational strategy, that a society that has children at heart is a better society for everyone: so every government policy should consider how it will affect children and children themselves should be involved in local and national democracy. In the very short run up to June's General Election we'll be using England's Children: a manifesto, our existing members' manifesto, as our basis for campaigning and have made all its individual demands into downloadable graphics for anyone to use in calling for candidates to pledge action on specific children's issues. We'd love to hear from our members what their current priorities are - within or in addition to the 35 points of the manifesto. 

It's great to see many in the children's sector speaking out already in the face of an election that could so easily dwell on a polarising Brexit debate. We encourage our members and others working for and with children to advocate strongly on their behalf over the next six weeks (use the #ChildrenAtHeart tag if you'd like us to amplify your priorities). Children can't vote - so charities campaigning for children can't be accused of trying to influence that vote.

Children England will be launching more Children At Heart campaign materials soon.