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Persistent poverty damages young children's cognitive development - Turn2us

Institute of Education website (link opens in a new window)Seven-year-olds who have lived in poverty since infancy perform substantially worse in a range of ability tests than those who have never been poor. This is even when family circumstances and parenting skills are taken into account. This is according to research published by the Institute of Education, University of London, this week.

On a scale of 0-100, a child who has been in persistent poverty will rank 10 levels below an otherwise similar child who has no early experience of poverty.

The researchers found that poverty - especially persistent poverty - has a greater impact on cognitive development than factors such as parents reading to their children, taking to the library or helping them with reading, writing and maths. The study also shows that being poor can adversely affect parents' ability to take an active role in their children's learning, which further affects their scores.

Across early childhood, persistent poverty is worse for children's cognitive development than intermittent poverty. For children who had been poor at only one point since birth, it was being born into poverty that had the most detrimental effects on cognitive development, whereas recent episodes of poverty had the least impact.

Read the Institute of Education press release (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us is a member of the End Child Poverty Campaign (link opens in a new window)

Source: Guardian news article (link opens in a new window)

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