Our Philosophy

When societies improve the quality of childhood, this would be beneficial for both the children and the societies in which they live. Policy makers and stakeholders develop policies with regard to children and the way that these are implemented depends on the image of the child that they hold. It is therefore very important to be aware of what this image is. For our activities we use the UN legal definition of the child, i.e. every human being below the age of eighteen years.


Within the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group (the Alliance) the image of the child we hold is as follows:


  • Children are endowed with inner potential to grow, learn and communicate and to participate in their own way and with their own rights and responsibilities within society.
  • The child is an agent of his/her own life in relation with others. The child is not an object to be pushed and modeled into a shape by the adult.
  • Adults who are sensitive to children's needs are there to help unfold their uniqueness.
  • The quality of the children's relationships with adults and other children affects their growth as human beings in either a positive or negative way.
  • Children are co-creators of our world and transform it.
  • Human development is a process of unfolding an individual's uniqueness in which mutually interacting biological, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual and societal factors interplay.


The quality of childhood has not a fixed definition because living contexts are different. Generally, a good quality of childhood refers to conditions that promote the child's positive development and well-being.