About Every Child Matters
In 2003, the Government published a Green Paper called Every Child Matters alongside the formal response to the report into the death of Victoria Climbié. After a thorough consultation process, the Children Act 2004 became law. This legislation is the legal underpinning for Every Child Matters, which sets out the Government’s approach to the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19.
The aim of the Every Child Matters programme is to give all children the support they need to:
- be healthy
- stay safe
- enjoy and achieve
- make a positive contribution
- achieve economic well-being.
The Every Child Matters agenda has been further developed through publication of the Children's Plan in December 2007. The Children's Plan is a ten-year strategy to make England the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. It places families at the heart of Government policy, taking into account the fact that young people spend only one-fifth of their childhood at school. Because young people learn best when their families support and encourage them, and when they are taking part in positive activities outside of the school day, the Children's Plan is based around a series of ambitions which cover all areas of children's lives.
The Plan aims to improve educational outcomes for children, improve children's health, reduce offending rates among young people and eradicate child poverty by 2020, thereby contributing to the achievement of the five Every Child Matters outcomes.