Child poverty & literacy

Child poverty & literacy

Child poverty & literacy

Date posted: October 17, 2014

Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The 2013 Child Poverty Report, using Statistics Canada data from 2011, presents the following facts about child poverty in BC:

  • BC had a child poverty rate of 18.6%, using Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-Offs (LICOs) before tax as a measure.
  • Of children living in single-mother families in BC, 49.8% lived in poverty.
  • Of the poor children in BC in 2011, 31.8% lived in families with at least one parent working full-time all year.

Research indicates that poverty impacts children in a range of ways that affect their physical and mental health and well-being.  Poorer children are at greater risk of poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioural and social emotional problems, and physical health problems.  The impact of early poverty can extend later in life.

Low literacy can be a factor in low income, and developing literacy skills of parents has a role to play in helping improve the outcomes for children living in poverty. The National Literacy Trust in the UK produced a research review that briefly outlines how literacy skills underpin strong family relationships, better health choices, and capacity to gain employment as well as educational attainment, all important factors in countering the impact of child poverty.  Click here to read Literacy: a route to addressing child poverty?

The Frontiers of Innovation initiative has a theory of change that focuses on building the capabilities of adults in children’s lives to form the environment of relationships important to supporting early development of at-risk children.  This video outlines their theory.

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