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Kent youngsters are 'living like Dickens'

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Some Kent youngsters are living in Dickens-style times - unable to use a fork or even a basic potty.

That is the damning indictment from a Kent expert, who says conditions for some children are as bad as more than a hundred years ago.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers says poverty is to blame and some children are facing suffering similar to the ‘times of Dickens’.

John Fowler, Director of Sheerness Children and Families Centre

John Fowler, the director of the Sure Start centre in Sheerness, said he wasn't surprised at this.

He said: “It disappoints and upsets me and it demonstrates that there are even more challenges for all of the Sure Start Centres.”

He said the centres, which help with children's development, have a role to play in encouraging parents to work with them.

This is so children get the best possible start in life and learn these essential basic skills.

However he reckons some of the problems may be arising because children are now starting school much earlier - with some youngsters beginning lessons from the age of three.

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