On the Universal Day of the Child parents from across New South Wales are taking action to reduce the experience of poverty for children in support of the community lead 1 in 7 campaign.
1 in 7 children in NSW live below the poverty line and this community lead campaign outlines five recommendations to the NSW State Government across health, education and housing that will help ensure children experiencing poverty have the same life chances as their peers.
The Parenthood, Australia’s leading parent advocacy and campaign organisation has joined with the New South Wales Council of Social Services (NCOSS) to support the 1 in 7 campaign.
“It’s not good enough that in 2015, 1 in 7 children in NSW are living in poverty, so today parents from across NSW will be contacting their local MP to ask them to stand up and make a positive change in the lives of these children.” Executive Director of The Parenthood Jo Briskey said.
The Parenthood website will enable parents to access the details of their local state member and contact them directly to ask that they help make the changes needed to turn the lives around for children experiencing poverty.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for parents to speak directly to their local MP about childhood poverty and really hammer home to our politicians how important it is that they take action to help bring an end to so many children experiencing poverty.” Ms Briskey said.
NCOSS CEO Tracy Howe said it was great to see parents taking action to make a real difference to children’s lives.
“Children and young people who experience poverty and disadvantage are more likely to have health and behavioural problems, experience housing and food insecurity, and fall behind at school.
“These childhood experiences have an impact across the entire life course, shaping their employment prospects, their health outcomes and wellbeing.”
Ms Howe said in a recent survey of families living on low incomes, it was clear parents were doing everything they could do give their children the best chance in life, but sometimes it was impossible to make ends meet.
“Parents told us they were skipping medical procedures, going without food themselves and many other things to try and give their children the best.
“It’s great to see parents coming together to seek action that will ensure no matter what their financial circumstances, all children are given the same life chances.”
The NCOSS 1 in 7 campaign outlines five steps the NSW Government could take to make a very real difference to the life chances of children and young people experiencing poverty and disadvantage.
- Invest an additional $25 million per year in the state-wide roll-out of a nurse-led home visiting program for vulnerable families during the first two years of a child’s life.
- Increase investment in early childhood education and care (ECEC) so that all children experience a quality early education from the age of three. As a first step, the NSW Government should increase funding from $193 per child to $600 per child, bringing NSW into line with other States.
- Invest $3.2 million in a Healthy Eating: Healthy Living Schools Fund to support schools in specific locations fund programs such as school breakfasts and other healthy food initiatives.
- Invest an additional $15 million per annum in activities and programs that ensure children and young people are connected to their families and communities.
- Ensure children, young people and their families can access affordable housing by investing an extra $711 million to increase social and affordable housing stock in NSW, reduce homelessness and properly maintain existing housing stock.