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The Good Childhood Report 2014

Well-being is about so much more than happiness, going right to the very heart of a good quality of life. And a real understanding of wellbeing must also take into account the factors associated with it; the potential drivers. Children with low well-being are not grumpy teenagers experiencing the everyday ups and downs of growing up. Our research highlights stubborn and persistent issues of bullying, insecurity and anxiety; children growing up with little hope for their future.

The good news is that the majority of children in this country continue to be satisfied with their lives. Yet around 9% of children aged eight to 15 years have low life satisfaction which is a statistic none of us can afford to ignore. Our annual stateof- the-nation report on children’s well-being seeks to understand more about this. This year’s report confirms gender variations in well-being – with girls showing lower levels overall often driven by concerns with the way they look. It also shows that the ages of 14 and 15 continue to be the ages of lowest well-being.

In this year’s report, our third annual Good Childhood Report, we explore new work on the relationship between parents and their children’s well-being and highlight new international evidence that shows the UK is behind the majority of countries in terms of children’s well-being.

We are proud that our research with the University of York has become one of the most extensive programmes on children’s wellbeing conducted globally. Our surveys of over 50,000 children have helped draw attention to important trends. Today, as always, we are ambitious for all children. In a period where the impact of austerity measures are disproportionately affecting low income families with children, it is critical to keep focused on how young people are faring. We are determined, through our campaigning, commitment and care, to give every child the greatest possible chance in life.