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E t r's i
We need to ensure we preserve our sense of horror at the effects of poverty on the growing number of families with young children A BETTER RESPONSE
The latest figures on levels of child poverty are shocking indeed, although it seems that our response has become almost accepting in the face of continuing stories about how desperate things are for many families in this country.
There are now 4.1 million children living below the poverty line, with more than half of those aged under five.
What is more, 70 per cent of these children live in working households – so much for the idea that it is 'lazy', unemployed parents causing problems rather than the 'hard-working' families beloved of the Government.
Yet the four-year freeze on children's benefits will cast even more children into poverty in the next few years.
Schools and nurseries are doing what they can, despite their own funding struggles. One teaching union poll found that 40 per cent of teachers were providing items for children because of 'Dickensian' levels of poverty.
And a new Child Poverty Action Group publication details the hunger and stigma over food inflicted on children from low-income families at home, at school and in social settings.
The latest article in our Health & Well-Being series examines just how far nurseries are going to help alleviate the problems that their families are encountering (pages 16-17).
Running food banks and clothing banks is a common response, with settings doing their utmost to do this in the most respectful way possible.
The Government now plans to measure food-insecurity in its Family Resources Survey, but what will be done with the information?
Food banks and handouts are not a long-term solution to poverty, and we need to make sure that we preserve a sense of horror that this is now routine for many young and vulnerable children.
In this issue
June O'Sullivan is chief executive of London Early Years Foundation,
which has grown its social enterprise model of nurseries to a group of 37 across the capital. She explains how introducing dialogic reading has been a success in developing language and literacy on pages 30-31.
Jacqui Mann is founder of JM Associates and is an expert in HR for early years settings.
On page 36, she looks at the increases to minimum and living wage rates which have just come into force, and advises how you can make sure that you don't fall foul of the regulations by underpaying your staff.
Consultant and trainer Laura Henry talked to us for the latest article in our EYFS training series, on what is needed to support staff working with birth to 18-month-olds (pages 34-35). The biggest knowledge gap is with attachment and translating theory into practice, she believes.
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15-28 April 2019 | NurseryWorld | 3