The rising cost of living is a major barrier keeping children from getting past school doors, Stuff reports. Wendy Esera, principal at Henderson Intermediate, has been in the education sector for over 44 years, and says student poverty is the worst she’s seen. “Around 15% of kids, which is 144,000 kids, often go hungry,” said KidsCan founder and chief executive Julie Chapman. Meanwhile, Jeanne Pau’uvale-Teisina, manager at early childhood centre Akoteu Kato Kakala, is concerned about the children who are getting lost along the way.