Northern Ireland

Helping children in poverty

We give children a healthy start, protecting children from harm and giving them the opportunity to learn.

We believe all children should have the same chances of succeeding in later life, regardless of their background.

Through our work in Northern Ireland and across the UK, we support young children living in poverty by improving their early learning, narrowing the gap between disadvantaged and better off children.

The impact of poverty

We've been working in Northern Ireland for over 60 years, and we know that poverty is one of the main drivers impacting early learning and development.

Right now, 118,000 children in Northern Ireland live in poverty – that’s over a quarter (27%) of all children.

On average, children from the poorest 20% of the population are already 17 months behind in their early language development by the age of three. By age five, one in three of these children do not have the expected language skills.

What we’re doing

We directly help children in Northern Ireland get a better start in life by delivering programmes with children and families in schools.

Through our campaigning and influencing work, we have a positive impact on many more.

To ensure we can make the biggest difference for children in Northern Ireland and across the UK, we will work over the next three years to make sure that:

  • Young children living in poverty experience a positive home learning environment and their parents are engaged in their learning
  • Children living in poverty have access to high-quality early years services that support their learning
  • Significantly fewer young children grow up in poverty and experience material deprivation.

Related reports

Find out more

For more information about our work in Northern Ireland, please contact or call us on 028 90 431123.

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