Financial stress, unable to afford school supplies and extracurriculars is the new reality facing residents as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be felt.
New data from the Smith Family has laid bare a reality which is faced by families in lower socio-economic areas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One in four survey respondents admitted that they are under financial stress while one in five respondents who had children conceded they were unable to afford school excursions or extracurricular activities
The Smith Family acting chief executive Judy Barraclough said that reality is becoming increasingly common.
"We see every day the struggles of families in severe financial stress and the effects these can have on children's education - and the latest lockdowns in many parts of the country have caused significant upheaval again in people's lives," she said.
Ms Barraclough was felt that the full reality of the hardship arising from COVID-19 had not come to the fore yet despite the stark picture revealed by the new study.
The study, which surveyed over a 1000 Australian residents, indicated a growing issue for families with children enrolled in education.
The respondents highlighted concerns about children becoming disengaged with education, the widening gap in literacy and numeracy rates in Australia and children not having access to school essentials as major concerns.
"As an education charity, we are particularly concerned about children who don't have the resources they need to learn at home," Ms Barraclough said.
"Among the families we support, there are children who can't do homework or take part in remote learning because they don't have a computer or internet access, a significant problem with major consequences."
JCP Youth founder Will Smith said he had seen first-hand children being disengaged with education due to COVID-19.
"It's clear why COVID has had an impact on people not attending or are struggling to reengage with education but I think it is slowly improving," he said.
"We've just found that period of time for young people or given them an outlet where they have experienced time outside of school has made it difficult to engage them."
Mr Smith praised the work of the Education Department in trying to reengage kids into education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Education Department is doing a really good job with engaging with those young people," he said.
"I've heard of instances where the education department has gone out of their way to go into residences and try to engage with those kids."
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