The definition of early life as a social determinant of health given by Rumbold and Dickson-Swift is “A good start in life means supporting mothers and young children.” (Rumbold & Dickson-Swift, 2012, p. 180). Early life describes the period from prenatal development to eight years of age, and is a time of remarkable brain growth and development, this period establishes the foundations for subsequent development and learning (Siddiqi, Irwin, & Hertzman, 2007).
As this period is considered to be the most integral developmental stage of life, the impact of social, environmental, and economic determinants can have long lasting, if not permanent effects (World Health Organization (WHO), 2015) . Children who in early life are subjected to adversities, such as poverty, inappropriate care, maltreatment, inadequate health care, or substandard education, are more likely to suffer difficulties later in life (Hertzman, 2013).
A mother’s socioeconomic status impacts all aspects of not only her life, but that of her child. Where she is situated on the social ladder will influence where she lives, her access to employment opportunities, and to support networks within a community, the availability of reliable private or public transport can greatly limit access as well. It may have also influenced the quality of education she herself received, and the education her child will go on to receive. Poor education, will impact the type of employment she is able to get, which may lead…