A Fair Start for Every Child

Why we must act now to tackle child poverty in the UK

May 2014


As the UK economy recovers, the situation for poor children is set to get worse, not better.

Child poverty has already been predicted to rise by one third by 2020. Now, new research presented here, shows how child poverty could rise still further.

A Fair Start for Every Child looks at:

  • how poverty is affecting the lives of children in the UK today – their physical health, emotional well-being, cognitive development and educational achievement
  • the development over ten years of the three main drivers of child poverty – flat wage growth, recent pressure on social security spending and the rising cost of living
  • forecasts for these three poverty drivers and the likely impact on children’s lives and child poverty rates up to 2020 – the year the main political parties are committed to end child poverty.

This report looks at the choice politicians now face. Either they recommit to eradicating poverty by 2020 and put forward a radical strategy to achieve it, or they introduce an ambitious interim plan, with an achievable but ambitious date for poverty eradication.

Our immediate priority is for all children to have a fair start by the age of 11. Based on the findings of this report, we’re calling for three key steps: high-quality, affordable childcare for all; a minimum income guarantee for families of children under five; and a national mission for all children to be reading well by 11.

PDF icon A Fair Start for Every Child (full report)1.46 MB
PDF icon A Fair Start for Every Child - Summary727.81 KB
PDF icon Policy briefing: Northern Ireland - A Fair Start for Every Child247.08 KB
PDF icon Policy briefing: Scotland - A Fair Start for Every Child569.54 KB
PDF icon Policy briefing: Wales - A Fair Start for Every Child244.57 KB
PDF icon Briff Polisi Cymru - Dechrau Teg i Bob Plentyn312.66 KB

Related reading

Too Young to Fail: Giving all children a fair start in life

Child Poverty in 2012: It shouldn't happen here