The number of child cruelty crimes involving babies and young children has risen every year since before the pandemic, new data obtained by children’s charities reveals. 

The Children’s Charities Coalition, consisting of Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society, National Children’s Bureau and the NSPCC, has released the figures to highlight that many babies and young children are not getting the safe, happy, and healthy start that can help to tackle inequalities and lay the foundations for a productive adult life.

The coalition’s Children at the Table campaign calls for a commitment from party leaders ahead of the General Election for an ambitious cross-Government strategy to drive improvements for babies, children and young people growing up in the UK.

The charities want the next Government to show national leadership to prioritise children’s social care and invest in early intervention services to support families and protect babies and the youngest children who are at risk of abuse and neglect.

Experts widely acknowledge that the early years are a critical window of opportunity for physical, social and emotional development. Babies and young children need nurturing care and a safe home environment for their healthy development.

The youngest children are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect as they are entirely dependent on the adults around them. Pre-school children are also less visible to professionals like teachers who could recognise and report abuse

Child cruelty crimes against children aged five and under continue to rise year-on-year with a 16% increase on pre-pandemic levels and more than 9,300 offences last year.

Read the article in full on the NSPCC website

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