Sunday, 3 March 2024
Sunday, 3 March 2024

Children missing out on crucial learning experiences amid cost-of-living pressures

A leading charity behind a national learning festival is highlighting how much the cost of living is affecting families’ ability to help their children learn and develop.

Running from 14 October to 5 November, the Family Learning Festival is a nationwide movement that encourages organisations of all types and sizes to coordinate fun, informal activities in their local communities that promote a culture of learning.

The festival, created by Campaign for Learning, comes on the back of research conducted by the social inclusion charity which found that, since the rise in the cost of living, 45% of parents are unable to afford trips and outings outside of school and almost a third (32%) have had to cut back on extra-curricular activities for their child.

Julia Wright, National Director at Campaign for Learning, said:

“It’s incredibly disconcerting to hear about the number of children missing out on core learning and development experiences due to the rise in the cost of living. More needs to be done to raise awareness of the support and freely available opportunities available to them.

“This year the festival feels more essential than ever as budgets continue to be squeezed and we know that families aren’t always aware of the opportunities that are available on their doorstep. Local organisations and services are crucial in offering a lifeline for parents and families so their children don’t miss out on the learning that can help them grow.

“As a generation still getting over the impact of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that children are given equal access to social and enriching experiences, or this can undermine their development and worsen the attainment gap between them and their peers.”

Further research by the National Literacy Trust found that a third of parents (36.1%) who were struggling financially as a result of the cost-of-living crisis were buying fewer books for their children, with 28.2% borrowing more children’s books from the library.

Organisations are still able to get involved in this year’s Family Learning Festival and are being encouraged to register their activities. To find out more information and guidance on planning events, visit: www.familylearningfestival.com.

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