Policy and research

4Children has been developing, influencing and shaping social policy for 30 years. In that time we have successfully made the argument for greater access to childcare and out of school activities, Sure Start Children’s Centres, MyPlace youth clubs and better support for families.

4Children is about making a difference – about identifying issues and devising solutions. We are also about change – ensuring policy makers and service providers are focused on the real needs of children and their families and offering practical solutions to meet them.

We don’t undertake research programmes or publish glossy reports so that they can sit on the shelf. We are only interested in how we can use what we know – from our experiences running services in communities and from talking to children and families – to bring about positive change in communities.


We have shown time and time again that we are bringing fresh thinking to old problems and that our ideas can shape debates and actions.

  • Our Millennium Childcare Commission called for a Children’s Centre in every community. By March 2010 3,600 Children’s Centres had been opened across England
  • Our Make Space Youth Review made the case for a new generation of youth clubs able to meet the needs of young people in the 21st Century. The MyPlace scheme has seen more than £250m invested in 63 new state of the art youth clubs.
  • Our Family Commission called for a ‘family test’ to be applied to all government policy to ensure that it contributes to the goal of strengthening families. In August 2011 the Prime Minister confirmed the introduction of such a test.