The most wonderful time of the year…

Posted by Meredith Davis / Tuesday 20 December 2016 / Inequality Early intervention Government spending

Every Christmas morning I was always the first up in my house. I would wake my two brothers up at 6am (if they were allowed a sleep-in), jumping up and down anxious and excited to find out whether ‘Father Christmas’ had visited.

When I think back to Christmas as a child, it’s hard to recall the presents I received, but I remember how the day felt, and how much fun I had. I had no idea that spending time with my family, playing and learning about the world was important for my development. I had no idea my Mum had an ulterior motive when playing with me and my Christmas presents (albeit a very nice and important one).

"For children under five, play is not just about having fun but also learning and developing."

Playing at home, exploring the world around them and building relationships, is how children develop skills that will carry them into their lives as adults. In policy terms, this is the ‘home learning environment’. Sadly, not all children have equal opportunities to develop through play and the home learning environment.

Action for Children research has found that children from low income families spend 40 minutes a day less than their peers on the kind of play and interaction that stimulates children’s development. That’s the equivalent of nearly 29 school days before their fifth birthday. This means that the poorest children start school already behind.

"We think all children should have the love, support and opportunity they need to reach their potential. We are calling on the Government to focus on the early years and support parents."


This Christmas, as well as enjoying time with your family, take action to make sure your MP knows about the inequalities poorer children face and asking them to spread the message of Fair by Five

All you need to do is tweet your MP – we’ve already drafted the tweet which will ask your MP to retweet our message and infographic.

By seeing which MPs take part, we can begin to build the kind of support in Parliament that is vital for the campa

Join the conversation.

Find out how you can become a campaigner, stay up to date with our latest tweets and join in the discussion on our blog.