Before COVID-19, child poverty was high and rising. Nine children in a classroom of 30 were living in poverty. Poverty means childhoods filled with worry and children missing out on things most take for granted. When the pandemic hit, families were badly affected by the economic shock – particularly those who were already struggling. Parents have lost their jobs or are stuck in low-paid, insecure work. Low-income families are facing constant pressure with not enough support.
In a just and compassionate society, it cannot be right for poverty to steal away childhood opportunities leaving children with poorer health, left behind in education and with low self-esteem. But it doesn’t have to be like this. We know that government action can change outcomes for children.
We must put children at the heart of the recovery. We need action from across the government. Thank you for standing with us and with children.