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Economics Assignment: Impact Of Child Poverty On Youth Development In Croydon Borough, London


Task: Prepare a detailed and well-researched economics assignmentpresenting a research report on the topic “The impact of child poverty on youth development in Croydon Borough, London”.

Research question
• What are the consequences of child poverty in London Borough of Croydon?
Research objectives
• To analyse the consequences of child poverty in London Borough of Croydon.


Background Of Economics Assignment
Croydon is a borough of some contrast. East Croydon's central hub provides easy access to Central London within fifteen minutes with its subway interchange and mainline railway station. Its diversity defines croydon. Shoppers and locals mix happily on the high street, weaving their way between the chain shops and independent boutiques. As well as a wide range of shops, Croydon has a contemporary feel – the international standard shopping center – and the original air terminal building – now a cultural arts center – put itself firmly on London's map. And Croydon's transport links mean visitors and residents can access all of London's attractions easily. Yet, some of the borough's neighborhoods are amongst some of the most deprived in the country. The residents have much in common from all walks of life: pride in their history and diversity, a strong sense of community, and a great affection for the place they call home. The objective of this essay is to understand the consequences that child poverty has on this neighborhood.

The Seriousness of The Problem

Poverty isn't just about having less money. It's about living in a poorer environment, in a home that's not well equipped or maintained, in neighborhoods where there aren't many other families or schools that are inspiring. The poorest kids have less intellectually stimulating childhoods (Gambaro and Stewart, 2014). It is terrible for these children, but it's also bad for the country as a whole. They grow up feeling alienated. They are less likely to vote or volunteer. And they are more likely to end up poor themselves, passing on the disadvantages of poverty to the next generation. An estimated 4.1 million children were living in poverty in the UK in 2015-16. However, current projections indicate that, based on present policies, this number will rise to 5.2 million by 2021-22 (Spencer et al., 2019). in addition to having human consequences, child poverty also had social implications. Since the end of the twentieth century, the number of children living in poverty in developed countries has remained stubbornly high. Children growing up in poverty are at more risk of living in persistent poverty as youth. The economic inefficiency of many children being less well-nourished and educated than they could otherwise help explain why wealth inequality has been increasing. Therefore, reducing child poverty ought to be a policy objective for reasons of social efficiency and human welfare. Poverty is a severe problem. It is a problem for individuals who have to endure hardship and uncertainties. Poverty damages childhoods because children raised in low-income families are less likely to do well at school, making getting or keeping a job harder. Poverty is part of why when children from poor backgrounds get jobs, they are more likely than other people to suffer accidents at work, be victims of violence at work, and leave their careers early. Poverty damages life chances in Britain today because it restricts children's choices: it means that children from poorer backgrounds are less able to buy a house, start a business, or move away from a bad neighborhood.

Over the past 20 years, there has been an increase in the number of children living in poverty. There is no denying that this will have consequences for the children themselves and the wider society they grow into adulthood. It is well established that poor health is associated with poorer educational attainment and growing up in a deprived neighborhood. Research shows a strong link between health and poverty, with children who experience deprivation having a higher risk of illness and disease in later life (Jackson, 2018). Not only can child poverty lead to physical and mental illness, but it also increases significantly the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers – all of which are significant causes of death among adults.

The Reasons
In the absence of other supports, families living in poverty are one emergency away from not being able to afford to pay their rent and risking homelessness. In simple words, This means that most poor kids in London are the children of parents doing low-paid work. These are not the jobs that can support a family, let alone pay for childcare or additional support for children (Back, 2015). Millions of families around the country are struggling with work that doesn't pay enough. And for those who can't find a job, it's even worse: there's less and less help available as we move through the benefits system. The wages are so low that they cannot afford a decent and quality life for their children. One out of five jobs in London is less than the country’s actual living wage.

In 2008, the employment rate for single parents in London was still well below the national rate. Since then, it has risen sharply and is now very close to the national rate. In contrast, the employment rate for mothers in couples in London remains far below the national rate. In the UK, almost a quarter of women with dependent children are in some form of part-time employment. It is clear that the lack of quality part-time jobs in Croydon, London, seriously harms the ability of mothers with young children to work flexible, highly productive weeks (Tinson et al., 2017). Mothers are in low-paid part-time roles in the caring and service sector. Part-time in finance is almost non-existent, in sharp contrast to other financial centers such as New York. As a result, many mothers commute long distances. It allows them to work for high-earning employers but reduces their productivity and, ultimately, wages. Some quit their jobs altogether.

The Impact
In recent years, there has been a rise in housing costs that has been reflected in the political rhetoric surrounding the issue. It is well established that there is a shortage of affordable housing across London. There is a shortage of social housing and a chronic shortfall in the supply of affordable housing, defined as being within reach of low-income households. Renting privately as a tenant with dependent children is now essentially the norm for families at risk of homelessness. The rise of the private rented sector in London has created an unprecedented number of families living in substandard, insecure housing. They are more likely to be concentrated in geographical areas of poverty, with poor access to community resources or financial services. They are more likely to live with parents or grandparents, who cannot provide them with child care or other services that would allow them to work (Hair et al., 2015).

Working mothers often find it difficult to afford childcare in London today. It has been exacerbated by the rise in basic childcare costs, leading to demanding career and family commitments choices. A growing number of local authorities are facing shortages in childcare funds, with some choosing 'hardship' payments for parents who are denied the chance to work or train because of childcare costs. The London Child Poverty Alliance 2018 manifesto highlights that while 29 percent of working parents have a job that doesn't pay enough for them to afford childcare, the situation is even worse in Croydon, with just a quarter of working parents earning a wage that can support a family. Low-income families have a more challenging time accessing several resources that contribute to a good life (Wickham et al., 2016). One reason is lack of information—people don't know where to go to learn a new skill or help their kids with their homework. London is a city of opportunity, and with the right opportunities and funding provided, many people would like to work and can work. But issues such as high childcare costs and insufficient childcare provision make it difficult for people on low incomes to acquire qualifications and experience in the workplace. Lone parents are more likely to have their income supplemented by the government (Spence and Acheson, 2018), have less independence of financial means, are slightly less likely to work full time, and tend to be older than either single or married mothers.

It's no secret that one of the factors preventing parents, especially mothers, from working in London is the lack of childcare provision. It is not sufficiently available in most areas of London, especially Croydon. The cost of private nurseries is beyond the budgets of most Londoners, but even where it is affordable. Families living in areas of Croydon cannot afford the costs of using quality early childhood education and care. Minimizing these costs and creating more affordable options will help more families access quality early education and care and maximize their children's learning and development outcomes. In families where parents have to sacrifice educational opportunities for themselves to send their children who need them more to school, they can result in a feedback loop of generational poverty.

To tackle the issues with childcare, local initiatives have been set up to identify families most at risk and provide temporary support through food voucher schemes. These programs are a precious community resource, but they're a short-term fix. Something dynamic and proactive should be done that will give children from low-income backgrounds the long-term food security they need to look after their health and maximize their potential.

Back, L., 2015. Why everyday life matters: Class, community and making life livable. Sociology, 49(5), pp.820-836. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.1475
Gambaro, L. and Stewart, K. eds., 2014. An equal start?: Providing quality early education and care for disadvantaged children. Policy Press.
Hair, N. L., Hanson, J. L., Wolfe, B. L., & Pollak, S. D. (2015). Association of child poverty, brain development, and academic achievement. Economics assignmentJAMA pediatrics, 169(9), 822-829.
Jackson, A.A., 2018. Semi-detached London: suburban development, life and transport, 1900-39 (Vol. 2). Routledge. Spencer, C., Griffin, B., and Floyd, M. (2019). Croydon Safeguarding Children Board.
Spencer, N. and Acheson, D., 2018. Poverty and child health. CRC Press.
Tinson, A., Ayrton, C., Barker, K., Barry Born, T. and Long, O., 2017. London’s poverty profile. Trust for London.
Wickham, S., Anwar, E., Barr, B., Law, C. and Taylor-Robinson, D., 2016. Poverty and child health in the UK: using evidence for action. Archives of disease in childhood, 101(8), pp.759-766.


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