The Effects Of Poverty In Early Childhood Education


Poverty can have some deep and lasting effects on Early Childhood Education. One of the more pronounced effects can be that caused by hunger. If a child is hungry then they may not be able to concentrate on their lessons, become lethargic and may be disruptive. Many schools get around this by opening the school early and providing a breakfast club. They usually offer a balanced breakfast that includes cereals, toast, fruit and yogurt. It is also a chance for socialisation with their friends where they are all equals.

A child may also feel isolated because of their clothes, even if the school has a uniform, it may be that the poorer children are not able to dress as smartly as the others. If the school does not have a uniform then this is even more or a divider as many children will be wearing some very trendy clothes whilst the less fortunate will be wearing clothes that have been handed down several times and will either be too big or too small. A child may come from a home where personal hygiene may be difficult due to the facilities available or because of the economics of paying for the utilities which will also have an impact on clothes washing. This alone can draw the attention of bullies.

School trips may be not be on the curriculum for the child from a poor family. A lot of school trips are based around their current curriculum and will have an impact on their classroom learning. Many schools have a social fund that can provide some or all of the payment for the trip but this may mean filling in forms and declaring poverty. Being poor does not mean that people do not have pride. School trips are also a social learning experience.

Attendance may also be an issue as poverty even in this age, tends to bring a prevalence of poor health. The child may have severe colds more often or other childhood diseases which will have an impact on their attendance at school. Poor attendance means that they miss a lot of classroom time and it only takes a few days out of school on a regular basis for a child to behind their peers in their learning. When a child is very far behind their peers others may think that they have learning difficulties and treat them accordingly. It is usual that a child who is part of a family that is poor may not have the same facilities at home such as books and laptops. Schools may be able to support families experiencing poverty by starting up a parenting support group.

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