Full Report Reducing Poverty and Improving Child Development in WA

May 07, 2024

Reducing Poverty and Improving Child Development in WA. By Shae Garwood, Wendy Simpson and Myles Kunzli FULL REPORT

"All children in WA deserve to have the best start to life. Children living in poverty face significant challenges to their social, emotional and physical development. Children’s development depends on their life experiences and the interactions they have with those around them. Poverty affects children’s development in material ways – by limiting access to good, quality food and adequate housing – as well as in non-material ways, by putting parents and caregivers under undue distress.

While child poverty in WA is extensive, with over 90,000 children living in poverty, the solutions are straight forward. The policy solutions discussed in this paper focus on ensuring all children have adequate access to financial resources and public services to meet their needs and those of their families, and that children and their families receive targeted social support to foster positive development. 


Policies to reduced poverty and improve children’s development include:
1. Adequate income support for families
2. Universal access to high quality play-based early childhood education and care
3. Targeted early intervention supports
4. Prioritising the rights of children and their development, health and wellbeing Implementing these policies and programs would lift thousands of children out of poverty in WA and provide the foundations needed for the future health and wellbeing of our state

“On average, a child growing up in a family whose income is below the poverty line experiences worse outcomes than a child from a wealthier family in virtually every dimension, from physical and mental health, to educational attainment and labour market success, to risky behaviours and delinquency.” Noble et al, 2012"

Read the full report Reducing Poverty and Improving Child Development in WA. By Shae Garwood, Wendy Simpson and Myles Kunzli

The full report can be accessed via: anglicarewa.org.au/childpoverty2021