Labour’s Child Health Action Plan commits the party to adopting a ‘prevention first’ approach but omits any mention of play.
Noting that “The nation’s children are the biggest casualty of the short term ‘sticking plaster’ politics of the last 14 years,” the action plan outlines seven commitments to ‘create the healthiest generation of children ever’ if Labour is elected to power later this year as is widely expected.
The plan pledges to tackle childhood obesity by banning junk food advertising to children, and implementing a “broad” national curriculum that makes a “wide range of physical activities compulsory for all schools.” Out of school provision of play or sports is not mentioned, but more detail is likely to come in the Labour Manifesto which will be issued close to the election date.
London Play director Fiona Sutherland said:
“London Play welcomes the adoption of a prevention-first approach outlined in Labour’s children’s health action plan. We hope that the ‘wide range’ of physical activities to be made compulsory in schools under a Labour government will include prioritising free play – and that out of school play provision is also afforded the priority it deserves.”
The plan aims to halve the gap in healthy life expectancy between different regions of England within ten years; and as well as being ‘prevention first’ proposes a greater focus on providing health services in communities. The seven commitments included in the plan are:
1. Cut waiting lists for children.
2. End the crisis in child mental health.
3. Transform NHS dentistry.
4. Crackdown on smoking and vaping.
5. Ban junk food advertising to children.
6. Introduce breakfast clubs for all primary school children.
7. Protect children from the growth of infectious diseases.
Find out more here.