Writing it has given the author the time to get evidence from research he was unaware of and listen to many people in the UK and overseas, hence to develop a 'holistic' insight into the reality of childhood. The author propose that this should be a key responsibility of university schools and departments of sociology, education, health and childhood studies as is starting to happen in the new Centre for Children, Young People and Families in the 'nimble' Nottingham Trent University. Children and childhood are facing unprecedented challenges. Outstanding children and young people can make real contributions to communities and society when given the chance despite hostile public attitudes to them. An overarching, holistic construct – the 'nurture of children' based on needs and competencies to meet them and seen through the eyes of the child is proposed as a vehicle to promote further thinking and actions.