The impact of poverty on the developing child. AUTHOR: Dr Helen Monks, Telethon Kids Institute

May 07, 2024 in Resources

Learn how poverty can get 'under the skin' and impact biological mechanisms the The impact of poverty on the developing child report. By Dr Helen Monks, Telethon Kids Institute

  • Over 730,000 children in Australia are living in poverty, with children in single parent families three times more likely to be at risk compared to children in couple families.
  • Children growing up in poverty can experience developmental delays that affect their future academic success and life chances as an adult.
  • Poverty can also get ‘under the skin’ in the early years to shape lifelong physical and mental health outcomes.
  • Poverty experienced in the first five years of life is especially harmful to children’s development. It is not economic hardship per se but the accompanying poverty of relationships and experiences that dramatically shapes young children’s health and developmental outcomes.
  • Intervening in the early years is crucial to help break the cycle of disadvantage. This includes assisting adults to cope effectively with adversity and provide the consistent and responsive care that is essential to healthy child development.​

Impact of child poverty (2017) This is a great report... and still remains relevant. 

Colab poverty and the developing child research overview 2017

​​Monks, H. (2017). The impact of poverty on the developing child. [CoLab Evidence Report]. Retrieved from

You can find the report on the Resources page in the Knowledge Hub of the VCI website.