Doing Better for Children

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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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Social Spending across the Child's Life Cycle

This chapter looks at how governments distribute social spending amongst children of different ages, the first time such comparison has been undertaken across the OECD. The first section of this chapter examines the distribution of spending through cash transfers and services across the child life cycle in 28 OECD countries. The second section explores variations in the cash transfers made to families with children, modelling and comparing tax-benefit systems as children age in eight OECD countries in 2003: Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The results are presented in terms of relative levels of support across the child life cycle for different family types.

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