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Austerity and its Impact on Early Years Informal and Family Learning in Disadvantaged Urban Communities

This project focuses on informal family learning in urban disadvantaged communities experiencing austerity in England and Portugal.

Poor families with young children are harder hit than any other group by austerity policies. Informal family learning in community spaces contributes to the development of young citizens, character building, positive learning dispositions and executive learning functions, and influencing successful school outcomes. This connection between school outcomes and informal learning in urban environments is vital, under-researched and relevant to many urban communities experiencing austerity. This project will map the impact of austerity in English and Portuguese disadvantaged urban communities, documenting changing levels of availability/access to what were, historically, public, free, cultural/leisure services on which poor families depend for stimulation and extension of family learning, including libraries, parks, playgrounds, youth clubs and museums.

Principal Investigator: Professor Christine Pascal, Centre for Research in Early Childhood

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