Poverty in Early Childhood Education

Poverty is a significant issue in early childhood education and is closely linked to children’s health and educational outcomes. Poverty has a negative impact on a child’s life, particularly during the early childhood years, when the foundation of their development is being formed. It has been estimated that 19 million children in the United States live in poverty and are at risk of not meeting their basic needs (Aber et al., 2012). The ramifications of impoverishment on these youth can be catastrophic. These children may face irrevocable consequences because of their poverty and lack of resources. The repercussions might affect them emotionally, physically, intellectually, or in other unanticipated ways that could change their lives forever. It’s critical to address this issue because poverty is known to have far-reaching effects often overlooked by society- those who have not experienced it firsthand cannot comprehend just how devastating its impacts can be on one’s overall well-being and prospects for success.

Individuals in this group are more susceptible to encountering health issues and inadequate nourishment, restricted entryway into valuable instruction, and facing stressful events such as aggression. My intention with this literature analysis is to delve into the various investigations surrounding how poverty contributes to early childhood education. In detail, the appraisal will explore how poverty impacts children’s preparation to acquire knowledge, their domestic circumstances, conduct, and psychosomatic well-being. Additionally, it shall scrutinize how education can assuage poverty’s repercussions. The assessment will utilize the results of former investigations to pinpoint approaches that can be employed in tackling the predicament of poverty in the initial stages of education.

The literature review discusses definitions and trends regarding poverty among children and families. Aber et al. (2012) present an informative summary of different interpretations surrounding poverty and its regular occurrence among offspring and clans. One observes that the quantification of destitution is frequently predicated on earnings yet encompasses many additional communal and financial components. The measurement concerning penuriousness generally relies upon income but also involves various other societal and fiscal aspects. While most utilize income as their primary barometer for destitution, poverty encapsulates multiple economic and social factors. A noted distinction regarding paucity exists whereby its evaluation commonly derives from revenue but subsumes various socio-economic facets.

Adamson et al. (2007) highlight those prosperous nations and their perception of children’s welfare. Included in this discourse were analyses regarding the detrimental consequences stemming from poverty that afflict children. The review then turns to a discussion of the impact of poverty on children’s readiness to learn. Brooks-Gunn et al. (2021) examine the effects of poverty on children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development and how it can hinder their learning ability. Featherstone et al. (2019) further explore the issue of poverty concerning child protection and its impact on the well-being of children. Flouri and Midouhas (2016) examine the effects of poverty on children’s behavior, noting that poverty can increase the risk of aggression and delinquency.

The review then considers the implications of poverty for children’s mental health. Hilferty et al. (2010) revolve their discussion around how being in poverty can adversely impact children’s mental well-being. They observed that depression, anxiety, and low self-worth are everyday experiences for impoverished youngsters. The subject of analysis by Main (2014) is the influence that poverty has on children’s subjective well-being. The author observes how financial deprivation imparts a feeling of despair and an absence of chances for improved living conditions to young minds. Finally, the review considers how education can help reduce the effects of poverty. Adamson et al. (2007), education can diminish poverty by offering a means of escaping that condition and presenting young individuals with abilities crucial for prospering. The authors Flouri and Midouhas (2016) additionally remark that providing education may buffer against poverty’s impact on children by instilling an optimistic outlook toward life and fostering aspirations for positive prospects.

The articles reviewed in this literature review can be divided into three categories: those supporting the adverse effects of poverty on children’s early education, those against it, and those offering alternative viewpoints. The literature espousing the opposing view on poverty’s negative consequences as regards young learners’ academic foundation posits that impoverishment is a grave matter which bears deleterious ramifications on children’s educational achievements. Aber et al. (2012) suggest that insufficient economic resources may lead to suboptimal scholastic achievements for minors and kin, alongside interpersonal and psychological dilemmas. This is echoed by Brooks-Gunn et al. (2021), who suggest that poverty significantly impacts a child’s development and learning and can lead to poorer educational outcomes. Featherstone et al. (2019) have also indicated that the factor connecting impoverishment to child maltreatment and disregard can negatively impact a youngster’s academic accomplishment.

The articles against the negative effects of poverty on a child’s early education suggest that deprivation does not necessarily lead to poorer educational outcomes for children. Adamson et al. (2007) presented a proposition that implies children belonging to the upper echelons of society may not necessarily reap superior academic accomplishments compared to those originating from less fortunate backgrounds. It has been recommended that provided with appropriate assistance and provisions, children emanating from underprivileged households can attain academic triumph. Flouri and Midouhas (2016) echo this, suggesting that children from poorer families may be more resilient and able to succeed in school if they receive the proper support.

The articles offering alternative theses entirely suggest that poverty may not be the only factor influencing a child’s educational outcomes. According to Main’s (2014) study, impoverished circumstances merely represent a solitary component amid various factors that can affect an offspring’s academic achievements. Additional elements such as kinship foundations, maternal and paternal engagement levels, and superior academic tutelage may all exert considerable sway over these educational outcomes. Hilferty et al. (2010) suggest that a child’s readiness to learn and access to quality education can have more impact on their educational outcomes than poverty. The indigence one experiences in life significantly affects a child’s academic achievement. Thus, it becomes paramount to deliberate on how this issue correlates with other influential factors so that each child attains high-quality educational opportunities.

The articles discussed in this review have a shared focus on the issue of poverty in early childhood education. While each article varies in its approach, there is a shared consensus that poverty has a significant and detrimental effect on children’s outcomes. The first article by Aber et al. (2012) primarily focuses on the definitions of poverty and explores how it can be measured and tracked. Moreover, the discourse delves into contemplating the far-reaching effects of poverty on both juveniles and their kinship. Further contemplation is given to implementing efficacious measures to tackle these obstacles via proper legislation. The present composition furnishes an all-encompassing scrutiny of the subject and provides a foundation for other pieces delved into in this critique.

Conversely, Adamson et al. (2007) also focus on the definition of poverty, but in the context of wealthy countries. They discuss the prevalence of poverty in the UK and other wealthy nations and provide an overview of the negative implications of poverty on children’s outcomes. Moreover, they proffer an unparalleled viewpoint concerning the imbalances amidst sundry nations and plausible avenues of redress to counteract poverty. Additionally, Brooks-Gunn et al. (2021) provide us with a more exhaustive examination of the outcomes imposed on juveniles due to poverty. The topic is deliberated upon by considering diverse theories and studies to comprehend how to apply them to understand poverty’s ramifications. Additionally, the article provides insight into how poverty can influence children’s development and how this can be addressed through effective policy and interventions.

Furthermore, Featherstone et al. (2019) focus on poverty, inequality, child abuse, and neglect. The topic of conversation centers around poverty’s recurring pattern, which can ultimately result in heightened incidents of maltreatment and disregard. Furthermore, a comprehensive synopsis of various measures and methodologies that can be implemented to tackle the pertinent problem is furnished. On the other hand, Flouri and Midouhas (2016) focus on the issue of school composition and how this can be affected by family poverty. Their article provides insight into how poverty can influence children’s behavior and how this can be addressed through effective interventions. Furthermore, there is a discourse about the consequences of poverty on academic achievements and viable measures that can be taken through intelligent policy solutions to tackle this issue.

Finally, Hilferty, Redmond, and Katz (2010) focus on the implications of poverty on children’s readiness to learn. They provide an overview of how poverty can influence children’s development and readiness for schooling and discuss the impact of poverty on educational outcomes. Moreover, these findings offer insight into viable strategies and effective measures to confront poverty via well-crafted policies and interventions. Despite the differing approaches and areas of emphasis in these articles, a shared concern for poverty as it affects early childhood education unites them. Each of these contributions delivers a thorough examination of the matter at hand and provides guidance on tackling it through impactful remedies and policymaking. Moreover, their outlook presents an unparalleled point of view regarding the consequences of poverty in relation to educational accomplishments among children and how these issues can be rectified. Doing so would ensure every child is afforded equal prospects for obtaining knowledge and skills.

The articles chosen for this literature review offer a comprehensive look into the effects of poverty on early childhood education. Aber et al. (2012) define poverty and discuss its trends and implications for policy, while Adamson et al. (2007) analyze child poverty compared to other countries. Brooks-Gunn et al. (2021) explain the effects of poverty on children, Featherstone et al. (2019) discuss the connections between poverty, inequality, child abuse, and neglect, and Flouri and Midouhas (2016) examine the relationship between poverty and child behavior in schools. Finally, Main (2014) assesses the impact of poverty on children’s subjective well-being.

Aber et al. (2012) offer the most comprehensive definition of poverty in the context of early childhood education, a comprehensive analysis of the various facets of poverty, encompassing fiscal, communal, and psychological elements. The ramifications for policy are also expounded upon with great depth and discernment. They also discuss trends in poverty and the disparities between countries in poverty rates. The present write-up furnishes imperative preliminary details for the remaining manuscripts within this appraisal. It operates as an initial juncture toward comprehending the ramifications of impoverishment on early formative learning. Adamson et al. In 2007, a notable analysis was conducted that draws an imperative correlation between destitution in varying nations. This investigation provides added perspective on how poverty impacts education during formative years. By scrutinizing information obtained from 24 countries, they investigate the distinctions in juveniles’ welfare. This comprehension encompasses their health, security, and learning and asserts that poverty significantly shapes minors’ progress. The present essay offers a worldwide outlook on destitution and is paramount in comprehending the ramifications of poverty for early childhood learning.

Brooks-Gunn et al. (2021) made an exhaustive and thorough examination of the far-reaching impacts of poverty on minors. By examining children’s physical, cognitive, and emotional welfare, one can uncover how impoverishment affects their growth. The consequences are far-reaching in nature and may have a significant impact on shaping who they become later in life. The nature and length of these effects differ significantly depending on the type and duration that such impoverished circumstances persist in said child’s life. Delving into the intricacies associated with impoverishment and its impact on juveniles, this article is crucial in comprehending how poverty can shape their formative years. Individuals must grasp the implications of poverty in early childhood education. Featherstone et al. (2019) discuss the connections between poverty, inequality, child abuse, and neglect. According to their argument, impoverished conditions constitute a significant risk element for the maltreatment and abandonment of children. They illuminate how financial hardship may initiate a pattern of aggression in the domestic sphere that perpetuates itself cyclically over time. This article’s perspective on poverty holds great significance in comprehending the far-reaching effects of impoverished conditions that inevitably impact early childhood education.

Flouri and Midouhas (2016) examine the relationship between poverty and school child behavior. Upon delving into the intricacies of findings from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, it is uncovered that there exists a correlation between various levels of financial deprivation and discordant actions during schooling. This literature presents a fundamental analysis detailing the ramifications of poverty on young students’ demeanors and conduct in academic settings. This account holds great significance in understanding poverty’s impact on early-age educational experiences. Finally, Main (2014) assesses the effects of poverty on children’s subjective well-being. Upon conducting an in-depth scrutiny of the information retrieved from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, an association has been established between impoverishment and a decline in subjective well-being among juveniles. Within the confines of this written work, one shall find a most salient assessment regarding how poverty impacts children’s state of happiness. This is crucial for understanding poverty concerning early childhood learning and development.

In conclusion, the articles extensively examine the ramifications wrought by destitution upon education in children during their formative years. Aber et al. (2012) define poverty and its trends, Adamson et al. (2007) offer a comparison of poverty in different countries, Brooks-Gunn et al. (2021) explain the effects of poverty on children, Featherstone et al. (2019) discuss the connections between poverty, inequality, child abuse, and neglect, Flouri and Midouhas (2016) examine the relationship between poverty and child behavior in schools, and Main (2014) assesses the impact of poverty on children’s subjective well-being. When taken as a whole, these various publications offer an all-encompassing comprehension of how poverty adversely influences education during the formative years and are fundamental to devising successful strategies for addressing this issue.


Aber, L., Morris, P., & Raver, C. (2012). Children, families, and poverty: Definitions, trends, emerging science, and policy implications. Social Policy Report, 26(3), 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7100145/

Adamson, P., Bradshaw, J., Hoelscher, P., & Richardson, D. (2007). Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries. https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/73187/1/Document.pdf

Brooks-Gunn, J., Klebanov, P., Liaw, F. R., & Duncan, G. (2021). Toward an understanding of the effects of poverty on children. In Children of Poverty (pp. 3-41). Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315861623-2/toward-understanding-effects-poverty-upon-children-jeanne-brooks-gunn-pamela-klebanov-fong-ruey-liaw-greg-duncan

Featherstone, B., Morris, K., Daniel, B., Bywaters, P., Brady, G., Bunting, L. & Mirza, N. (2019). Poverty, inequality, child abuse, and neglect: Changing the conversation across the UK in child protection? Children and Youth Services Review, 97, 127-133.


Flouri, E., & Midouhas, E. (2016). School composition, family poverty, and child behavior. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 51, 817-826. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00127-016-1206-7

Hilferty, F., Redmond, G., & Katz, I. (2010). The implications of poverty on children’s readiness to learn. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 35(4), 63-71.

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/FionaHilferty/publication/270885724_The_Implications_of_Poverty_on_Children’s_Readiness_to_Learn/links/5f169ed0299bf1e548c8dec5/The Implications-of-Poverty-on-Children’s-Readiness-to-Learn.pdf

Main, G. (2014). Child poverty and children’s subjective well-being. Child Indicators Research, 7, 451-472.


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