After the referendum result, there’s been much speculation about the influence of certain factions of electors on ‘Brexit’.
Are voters inherently selfish? Do they vote for personal gain? Where does this leave those without a vote (such as children)? Can they trust the voters to take their interests into consideration?
This is of particular interest to those of us who work in the early years as we represent the interests of future citizens (who are often “voiceless”).
It is said that grandparents, the so-called “baby boomers”, set policy priorities.
With this in mind, here is one attempt to remind the politicians - candidates and activists - that it is their responsibility to consider the impact of every political decision on future generations, therefore on children.
You do not have to be a parent to understand the importance of this. You do not need a degree in Early Childhood Studies to consider that the early years of a child will influence his/her future as an adult.
Of course, many areas that are relevant to children’s lives are devolved and therefore irrelevant to the elections on June the 8th. Many devolved policy areas are implemented in practice by County Councils whose many responsibilities will often touch the lives of children.
That said, every politician, candidate and activist has leverage in the way they hold political talks, the way they behave and in their use of language on-line.
Therefore we ask every candidate in the imminent election(s) to:
- Consider the impact of every decision on the life of children in the early years.
- Work to insure that every child in every Ward can take advantage of childcare and Welsh medium education in order to contribute to the goal of creating a million Welsh speakers.
- Work to expand access to the ‘Flying Start’ scheme to tackle poverty and improve life chances for children under 4 years old.
Aristotle said “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man”. Working to improve conditions for children, wherever they are, is a great privilege for those in elected office. Giving children a voice is serious business.