The government is setting up a task force to identify policies that could make the biggest difference to the lives of children and families.
In a speech hosted by children’s charity Barnardo’s, Mr Clegg said the Childhood and Families Task Force will be chaired by the Prime Minister and made up of senior ministers from across Government.
Areas that the task force is expected to examine will include parental leave and flexible working, support for disabled children, protecting children affected by family breakdown and helping children “avoid the adult pressures that force them to grow up too quickly”.
Mr Clegg said:
For too many British children, childhood has become a time of stress, anxiety and insecurity, when it should be a time of discovery, learning and adventure. My purpose in politics - and the job of this coalition government - is to change that. To live up to our responsibility, as a generation, to lay the foundations for better lives for our children.
The work of the task force is expected to be completed during the autumn.
The Deputy PM also discussed the government’s wider agenda for children and families, including refocusing on Sure Start Children’s Centres on the most disadvantaged families and reforming welfare to get more people into work.
Mr Clegg said the government’s aims were to cut back excessive regulation and central targets for those working with children and families and to make families more independent.
Independent but supported families - that is this government’s approach and it’s one that the coalition arrived at very naturally. We believe that we strengthen our society by giving people the power to make choices over their own lives. We place great value on the informal networks that can be such a tremendous source of support, as well as the strong sense of community identity that helps make children feel secure.