The Association of Play Industries (API) is lending its full support to the call for a Cabinet Minister for Children & Young People. The APPG on Fit and Healthy Childhood is campaigning for the appointment of a Minister whose sole focus will be on children’s welfare.

API Chair Mark Hardy, says: “Children are facing unprecedented challenges meaning that, unless things change, they could become the least healthy adults in living memory.

“What is required is a joined-up approach to tackle the overwhelming odds against today’s young people – a Minister tasked to look at the whole picture and place children at the heart of policy making.

“Childhood obesity and rising mental health issues are being fuelled by a chronic lack of physical activity amongst children. How many children this summer, for example, will spend the majority of their time indoors and alone, dependent on their screens for entertainment?

“Today’s children are the least active UK generation and the toll on their physical and mental health is great. As a society, our emphasis on the importance of activity for children is waning.

“Our own research has revealed an alarming decline in playground provision. 112 playgrounds were closed in the 2014-15 financial year and a further 102 in 2015-16. Councils revealed 80 more closures in 2016-17 followed by at least 51 closures planned for 2018.

“We estimate that a government investment of around £100m would be required to reverse the closure trend. A dedicated Minister for Children would be pivotal in beginning to invest that money back into our children’s futures and we wholeheartedly back the APPG on Fit & Healthy Childhood in their campaign.”

APPG on a Fit and Healthy Childhood – Children First