Every child mattered in England: but what matters to children?

Catherine Carroll-Meehan

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'Every Child Matters' under New Labour provided a framework for services for young children's care and education. It was pushed aside by the Conservative-led coalition and replaced by ‘More Great Childcare'. The UK as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, therefore has obligations for legislation, policy and curriculum, specifically with regard to children's rights and participation. On the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, in practice there may be different levels of participation employed to engage children's views in the development of policy about them. This project sets out to ask children about what ‘matters' to them. Ninety finalist Early Childhood Studies students worked as co-researchers in this project. Five themes are discussed highlighting the powerful thoughts and ideas of children. A range of ‘child-friendly’ methods were used to collect data from children including role-play, interviews, drawings and artefacts, and story-telling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-402
Number of pages21
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number3
Early online date13 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • pedagogical documentation
  • children's voice
  • participation
  • visual research methods


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