When we first spoke with young people aged 14 to 16 about their lives, they recognised that their own behaviours and approach to life contributed to their well-being.

In 2008, nef (the new economics foundation) produced their five ways to well-being framework for adults. This set of five actions - connect, be active, keep learning, take notice and give - were beneficial to adults. We wanted to find out whether this approach could work for children and young people, as well.

So we've been working with nef over the past year to find out. Together, we've:

  • Asked around 1500 young people aged 10 to 15 a number of questions related to the five ways that we felt might be relevant to children’s lives
  • Held focus group discussions with 70 children aged eight to 15 in six schools around the country.

We'll be publishing a full report on this piece of work shortly, but in The Good Childhood Report 2013 we shared some of the things that we've found.

Key findings

  • There's good evidence that four of nef’s five ways - connect, be active, take notice, keep learning - work for children
  • Evidence for the fifth - give - was more mixed, although children did talk about being kind and doing things to help others
  • However, we have found evidence for another way to well-being relating to creativity, imagination and play.

Parent's guideParent's guide

We have produced a parent's guide based on this evidence, giving some simple tips to parents on how they can support their children's well-being.

The Welsh language version of the parent's guide is now available to download.


We have also launched unplugged, a fun website featuring activities that families can do together for free (or very little cost).

Coming soon:

  • The full report produced with nef will be published soon
  • We will release a guide for professionals, based on the ways to well-being, at the same time.