Children born into poverty are half as likely to do as well at school as their wealthier friends. In Britain today, one of the richest countries in the world, very young children still fall behind and stay behind at school, with the education gap starting from birth and evident as early as 19 months.
As a result, 80% of a child’s GCSE results are determined by the time they are seven. Seven is just the beginning of formal education but it is almost too late for a fair chance in life for too many children.
24% of children in Southwark are living in poverty, with poverty rates in some areas as high as 35% - this is higher than both the London and Uk average. A high proportion of Southwark's residents currently receive out-of-work benefits and those parents who do work are in either low paid or insecure jobs, which impacts on their children's chances to reach their full potential.
Through a multi-programme approach, the project will strengthen the relationship with local services and community groups in Southwark, offering children and their families access to three of our programmes as a package: Eat, Sleep, Learn, Plan!(ESLP!); Families and Schools Together (FAST); and Born to Read.
Child poverty ruins childhoods and stops children from achieving their potential. Lack of jobs, stagnating wages, welfare cuts and increased living costs are all combining to place enormous pressure on families, forcing many in to poverty. Parents experiencing financial pressure cannot meet their children’s basic material needs without risking debt or making choices they should not have to make, such as skipping a meal so they can feed their children.
Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! (ESLP) is our early-intervention grants programme that supports deprived families with young children by providing essential household items. These items improve children’s health and well-being, their ability to learn and develop in the long term, and reduce financial pressures in the home, family stress and poor mental health.