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Early years experts launch campaign to 'save childhood'

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Morton, Katy
Publication Date: 
28 Jun 2012



The Save Childhood Movement expands upon Open Eye's Saving Childhood Network, which was set up last October following the publication of ‘Too much, too soon?' by Dr Richard House.

It has been launched in response to concerns of an ‘erosion of childhood' in modern culture, and aims to bring together a team of experts to consolidate relevant research and protect and promote children's natural development and learning.

Behind the movement is Wendy Ellyatt, founder of the Unique Child Network, Child psychologist Dr Richard House, from the University of Roehampton, and Kim Simpson, co-founder of the Early Childhood Action Group.

Members of the Save Childhood Movement's advisory group include Professors Lillian Katz and Janet Moyles, early years consultants Wendy Scott and Margaret Edgington and Catherine Prisk - director of Play England.

It is hoped the new website will help to gain sponsorship for the movement ahead of its official launch next spring at the first of a series of annual seminar series.

The next six months will be spent consolidating the advisory board and gaining support to grow the movement.

Ms Ellyatt, the group's development director, said, ‘The movement has been set up in recognition of the rapidly growing evidence about child health and well-being in the UK. According to the [Children's Society] 2012 Good Childhood Report at any one time more than half a million children are unhappy with their lives and, with increasingly sedentary lifestyles. One in ten children are suffering from mental health problems, and there is what is being called an "alienation of experience".'

‘We have some of the most academically pressurised children in the world, with an increasing focus on targets and measurable outcomes rather than the more holistic nurturing of positive learning dispositions. We think such evidence calls for urgent action and we are now bringing together a multi-disciplinary team of experts who agree with us.'

-reprinted from Nursery World