Effects of Low Family Income on Children
By Jennifer D. Melville, eHow Contributor
A family's income affects every aspect of their child's life.
People who grew up in poor families often say they didn't realize that their family was poor and that all they needed was each other to be happy. For these people, trips to the movies, designer clothes and a big house just weren't necessary to create pleasant childhood memories. This may be true for many people, but current research shows that a family's income affects all aspects of a child's life. With more than 26 million American children living in poverty, these affects have huge ramifications for our country.
1 Child Care
According to a study conducted by the Urban Institute, more than two thirds of children ages 5 and under from low income families spend a significant amount of time in child care each week. This is significant because the quality of child care available to low income families is much worse than that available to higher income families, and the quality of the child care affects the child's development. High quality, center-based care is expensive and is simply not an option for many low income families. Instead, they turn to informal, sometimes unregulated child care.
There are federal programs to improve and fund early childhood education, but these programs do not work with the hectic working schedule of low income parents. Child care subsidies are available in some states, but not available to all low income workers. In other words, low income families often have difficulty accessing support systems that help them balance work and family life. As a result, the children of low income families are not given the same opportunities as their middle class counterparts.
There is an educational gap in America between low income and higher income students. Children from low income families tend to do poorer on tests, have a lower graduation rate, and are...