Impact of Poverty and Education on Children Development

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Poverty is the state of scarcity or the lack of specific things. Such things may include possessions or money that is essential for humans to make their life better or comfortable. According to Foster and James, poverty is defined as the state of someone who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. Therefore, one who requires good health, who cannot have access to the right medical attention, or cannot afford to take the precautions to avoid the illness is said to be in poverty. Poverty is measured regarding social, political, and economic elements (Petterson, 2011 pp1794-1813). The extreme lack of the necessities is referred to as '?absolute poverty.' One is faced with the complete absence of the primary and personal needs such as shelter, clothing, and or food in the state. Another state is relative poverty that occurs when one in a particular country does not have access to the specified minimum level of ""living standards"" in comparison to the other people in the same region (Guo, 2010 pp 431-447). As such, the definition of relative poverty varies from one state to another or even from community to another. Poverty influences the life of children primarily, as they develop to become adults.

Education is an initiative that facilitates acquisition and utilization of knowledge, habits, values, skills, and beliefs. Teaching as a process promotes learning and thus eliminates ignorance among the community. Education often is meant for children as they mature. However, adults also engage in the learning process to increase their knowledge. As such, culture differs depending on age, profession, likes, and interests and depending on the government plans. The methods of facilitating education include teaching, training, storytelling, directed research, and discussion (Barnett, 2008 pp 204-207). The setting of the process may be either formal or informal. Education is believed to be the tool that enlightens people and help them to find solutions for the challenges they face. As such, it is a means that aid in reducing poverty among the citizens and facilitate growth. Similarly, poverty may be a hindrance for some children to access quality education and thus the problem will prevail.

Poverty and education profoundly influence the development of children. Poverty is a challenge that needs to be overcome if the children will have a good life worth of living (Guo, 2010 pp 431-447). When it strikes, the kids cannot have access to necessities, and thus it hinders development. The World Bank defines poverty as having many phases. The indicators of poverty according to economic and social inclusion corporation of the World Bank are hunger, sickness and not being in a position to seek medical attention, lack of shelter, inability to read and not having access to school, lack of a job (Aber, 2007 pp 463-483). Other factors are living a day at a time, fear for the future, and inability to participate in recreational activities. Economists define poverty as lack money to purchase basic needs. According to them, money is the core aspect that defines poverty. When one has money, he or she can have access to the other necessities such as food, education, and shelter.

Effects of Poverty and Education on Children Development

Access to education and its outcomes are primarily influenced by the family income. Children from poor background often begin school late than their equals from high-income families. Parents with low income will not afford to pay for their kid's learning process until they are old enough to take themselves to school and back. However, the wealthy parents will take their children to school earlier since they can afford to employ caretakers who will be responsible for making the kids to and from classes (Barnett, 2008 pp 204-207). Additionally, when the children get to school, the challenges posed by poverty continue to haunt the students. As such, the depth, social networks, timing, incidence community aspects, and duration of poverty affect the education performance of kids (Grantham-McGregor, 2007 pp 60-70). The government and the parents have many roles to play to enhance poverty eradication and thus promote education process. This paper looks at the various areas that are influenced by poverty in the lives of children. Additionally, the measures to handle the challenges are provided to ensure the creation of a knowledgeable community by ensuring that all the children have access to education at all times.


Poverty affects the children's performance adversely at school. The families may lack the capability of providing all that is needed for the children to succeed in college. For instance, the children may not have enough to eat, access the desired shelter, or have enough clothing. Additionally, the parents will not manage to buy all that is necessary for them to go to school and concentrate on their studies (Brooks-Gunn, 2007 pp 55-71). Paying the fees and for other activities may be difficult for the parents and so the students may be sent home frequently. As such, the children will not be able to concentrate on their studies as most of the times they will be experiencing inconveniences. The schools in the poor neighborhood also lack all the necessary items for them to provide the required knowledge to the students. Such institutions also lack enough and qualified staff members to teach the students. Since the parents cannot afford to pay much money and in time, the management hires the less qualified teachers and other staff members who can accept the poor pay. The children who live in poverty are more likely to experience high dropout rates and lower academic achievement (Shannon, 2008 p 32). Therefore, poverty is a condition that should be addressed if the educational sector will improve and assure all children quality education.

Social/ Emotional development

Poverty and poor education access for children may as well result in adverse social and emotional development for children. The students who live in the poor background are likely to acquire both behavior and emotional challenges (Biddle, 2014 p 2-6). For instance, such kids will have difficulties in getting along with others and especially peers; they will be disobedience, impulsive and isolated. Therefore, the children will never have self-esteem or insight to move on and pursue their dreams. As such, the kids become miserable, and their will do anything that comes their way. Parents living in poverty as well have no much time stay and advise their children, and thus they have no one close to give them directions (Connell, 2014. Pp 125-150). The children thus do what they think is right for them or follow what their peers are doing who might be misleading them. Therefore, their social and emotional development is weak, and thus they live a life of isolation and hatred. The children will not perform well in school even if they were allowed to stay and therefore their future becomes dull as time passes. Poverty makes it harder for students to cope with the stressful environment. However, with proper counseling, the kids can reform and interact with the others as desired and thus succeed in education and other life matters.


Access to excellent medical services is a challenge to children living in poverty. The problems begin at birth as the kids are born with low weight, which results in early health issues. Since the parents cannot afford proper medical care or the hospitals around such people, do not have all the necessary equipment to offer reliable care. Therefore, the kids experience health issues while young and haunt them as they grow. Another risk is lack of access to routine preventive and emergency medical and thus are likely to suffer from poor nutrition (Aber, 2007 pp 463-483). According to a study conducted in the US, health challenges always comes with other related problems such as frequent missing the schools, often admitted in hospitals, and suffer high death rates. As such, without a foundation of good health, a child may not reach critical developmental objectives such as learning, attaining good grades, and getting employment. Health as necessity may divert the attention of other needs since it is fundamental (Petterson, 2011 pp1794-1813). Poverty, therefore, inhibits both physical and psychological development in children by causing health issues. The government should put more resources in the health sector to ensure that all pregnant mothers, as well as the growing children both at school and at homes, access medical services at all times.

Outdoor Play Spaces

Children who are living in poverty lack access to safe outdoor play spaces such as playgrounds, wooded areas, and green spaces. For the full development of a child, he or she needs to have access to areas where they will play with peers. As such, children will be able to interact and develop both physically and emotionally. The most areas faced with poverty are the slums and overcrowded places with less space for such activities. According to the researches done, children need areas for outdoor activities or other events from birth to the age of five years since they promote developmental outcomes that cannot be achieved indoors (McLoyd, 2008 p185). As such, the kids who cannot access such fields will not have the developmental results and thus they are like will not be like the others. Additionally, the availability of natural features in a play station such as hills, sand, grass, running water and trees enhances the bond between nature and thus proper growth. Such resources cannot be accessed in the highly populated places where poverty is experienced (Shannon, 2008 p 32). The government is mandated to provide suitable housing for all the people and secure the public areas designated for play and other activities.

Access to Information

The understanding the knowledge regarding the development plans and the ways to support them is hindered by poverty. Every citizen has the right to access to information. However, one is responsible for looking for the information by purchasing the necessary appliances. The children who grow in areas filled with poverty may not access the essential details on national developments (Huston, 2011). Access to information makes one responsible in all he or she does. As such, the students will not have a driving force towards the state development. On the contrary, the children who have access to information will be motivated to see the plans come into reality. They are likely to excel in their studies as they work hard to understand their nation develop. In the same ways, the parents are expected to be illiterate, and they will not be able to motivate their children accordingly (Levin, 2015 p 28-35). It is the government's responsibility to ensure that every citizen is aware of its plan and agendas for development so that they all can take part in the achievement of such ideas.

Recreation, Sports and Family Time

Poverty inhibits the recreational activities, sports programs, and time for the family interactions. The children will be busy with other activities such as helping their parents raise their daily meals. As such, the children will not have time to interact with the others of their age and share jokes and other relevant messages for developments. Since the parents have low income and less to spend in their homes, they will be much occupied to find necessities for their children and thus less time for family matters. Children with talents will not have the opportunity to develop it since the required resources such playgrounds, musical instruments, and other materials are rarely available in areas dominated by poverty (Van der Berg, 2008 p28). Children need more space and time to play and have fun so that they can experience both physical and emotional growth. Family time is also helpful since it creates a strong bond among the members and promotes peaceful coexistence that lasts even when the kids are full-grown (Huston, 2011). It is the responsibility of the adults and the authorities to nature the talents of the kids so that they can utilize them to better their future as well as the community around them.


Poverty and education profoundly influence the development of children. Poverty is a problem that needs solutions for the children to have a prosperous life worth of living. Poverty hinders the access to education, and thus the children will not be enlightened on the matters concerning their respective stage of life. Education plays a significant role in the passing of information and knowledge to generations and thus ensures continuity in the country. A school is a tool that enlightens people and helps them to find solutions to the challenges faced (Duncan, 2010 pp 188-196). Similarly, poverty may be a hindrance for some children to access quality education and thus the problem will prevail. As such, it is a means that aid in reducing poverty among the citizens and facilitate growth.


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Impact Of Poverty And Education On Children Development. (2018, Dec 14). Retrieved May 18, 2024 , from

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