Children and Youth
In Greater Montreal, 119,000 children under age 18 live in low-income families—that’s 17% of all the children in the region.
This is highly disturbing, especially when you consider that over half of all disadvantaged children live in a family that earns employment income.
Poverty affects children’s
- Academic success
- Living habits
- Social behaviour
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds
- Are more likely to experience late development (especially language and motor development).
- Participate less often in sports, social and cultural activities.
- Grow up in environments where the rates of delinquency, school dropout and unemployment are higher, the health status is poorer, and life expectancy is lower.
Greater Montreal: a profile of the situation of children and youth
- The proportion of children aged 5 and under living in a low-income family is 30% on Montreal Island, 13% in Laval and 10% on the South Shore.
- Many of these children are affected by food insecurity (insufficient food, lack of variety in their diet).
- 35% (5,000) of all 5-year old children in kindergarten on Montreal Island lack the necessary maturity to start school.
- About 30% of teenagers drop out of high school.
- Several thousand young people under age 30 live in the street in Montreal.
When poverty persists, it leads to a combination of economic, social and health problems that can be passed on from one generation to the next.
How can you help children and youth to break out of the cycle of poverty?
- Have good self-esteem
- Be well prepared to start school
- Succeed at school and obtain a diploma
- Participate in sports, social and cultural activities
- Develop self-reliance
- Have a support network which includes significant adults
- Promote early-childhood development
- Coach parents in their parenting role
- Support academic perseverance
- Support the social integration of at-risk youth
- Coach young adults along the path to social integration
- Coach immigrant families
- Offer places of belonging in the neighbourhoods, including community centres, family centres, youth centres and projects that bring people together, such as collective gardens, collective kitchens, etc.
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