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Doing Better for Children

image of Doing Better for Children
Drawing on a wide range of data sources, this publication constructs and analyses different indicators of child well-being across the OECD. These indicators cover six key areas: material well‑being; housing and environment; education; health and safety; risk behaviours; and quality of school life. They show that no one OECD country performs well in all areas and that every OECD country can do more to improve children’s lives.

How much countries are spending on children and when is also closely considered, the first time such a comparative exercise has been undertaken across the OECD. Additional chapters offer detailed examinations of countries’ policies for children under age three, the impact of single parenthood on children and the effect of inequalities across generations. The publication concludes with broad policy recommendations for improving child well-being.

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Doing Better for Children

The Way Forward

This chapter offers a range of policy recommendations for improving child wellbeing: invest early in children’s lives; concentrate on improving the lot of vulnerable children; design interventions for children that reinforce positive development across their life cycle and across a range of well-being outcomes; create clear, achievable targets for child well-being outcomes and regularly collect high-quality information on children’s well-being that is nationally and internationally comparable. Finally, governments should continuously experiment with policies and programmes for children, rigorously evaluate them to see whether they enhance child well-being, and reallocate money from programmes that don’t work to those that do. This approach ensures resources allocated to children progressively enhance child wellbeing.

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