Talking Early Years – In Conversation with Professor Al Aynsley-Green

June 1st 2024

A Shout Out for Children

It’s fitting that this podcast is being aired on International Children’s Day because Sir Al is a huge advocate for children over his very busy and noteworthy 50 years.  His message is powerful, and he pulls no punches about his frustration over the failure of our country to take seriously the importance of children, and particularly those in the Early Years. 

Every child should be given the resources to achieve her or his full potential. Now, why don’t we have that being articulated, let alone actioned? It is utterly dire in my view.

He despairs at the serious erosion of the basic humanity of the caring services and his new purpose is putting compassion back into compassionate care that we provide for people, especially children.  

There is a mismatch between our wonderful science and all of our services and the dismal failure of politicians to recognise the importance of children…  

…chiselled in letters of stone over every Department of State should be this. We need healthy, educated, creative, resilient and happy children, with the life skills to become the productive adults of the future and the competent parents of the future.  

Reflecting on Every Child Matters which he describes as the world’s best policy programme for children (one for which he proudly shared across the world) – it was the brainchild of the Labour Party,  then destroyed by a triple whammy. The Coalition government dismantling it without any serious debate, then austerity followed (and its dreadful impact on families), followed by COVID. Effectively, it was the destruction of the world’s best policy programme for children which he despairs does not appear to be top of the Labour manifesto.  

We discuss the low birth rate, the old age dependency ratio between working adults and the elderly, fertility rates, immigration, the science of attachment, brain development, synaptic connection, his book The British Betrayal of Childhood  and much more… 

Listen to his call to action and get involved.  Start by listening and sharing this podcast…