I want children to grow up in loving, stable families, whatever form that takes, with services that empower them.
Family is a core pillar of my work, following the results of The Big Ask. Children told me that having a supportive family has a positive impact on their lives. They care about their families and they value seeing them, with 80% of 9-17-year-olds saying they are happy or okay with their family life, along with 95% of 6-8-year-olds.
Where children do not live with immediate family, they care about having a happy home. They told us if they were unhappy at home and with their family life, they were nine times more likely to be unhappy with their life overall, and 70% of them were unhappy with their mental health.
My vision is for a reset of the relationship between the state and families, to show how we can reform public services to support families not just as ‘service users’ but as loving, supportive units, enabling them to support one another.
A loving family is worth more than money and will give you guidance support and love and advice.Boy, 11,
The Big Ask.
Childcare was one of the two biggest issues parents raised in my Family Review, who told me it does not currently work for families. Parents want childcare that is high-quality and loving, so their children can thrive. Children need parents who aren’t dealing with the stress of unaffordable and inflexible childcare. Last autumn I set out my vision for a childcare system that works for everyone, making better use of schools, Family Hubs and children’s centres. I spoke about this vision again recently at a panel event to reinforce the idea that childcare is not a ‘woman’s issue’ – it’s a family one.