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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Summary of Key Findings

Child well-being is of considerable public interest in many OECD countries. While each country’s child policy discussion has its own distinct national aspect, there are shared concerns across the OECD. In this context, examining child well-being and policies to improve it is a timely endeavour. What do government programmes and spending achieve? What can be done to improve child well-being? This report aims to answer these questions. This chapter sets out the report’s structure and summarises its key recommendations. It explains how governments should invest to enhance child well-being and outlines things they should do less of and things they should keep an eye on.

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