More than 160,000 children and young people are at-risk of being pulled into poverty.
That's according to the Children's Rights Alliance, which is launching a new Child Poverty Monitor.
It's the first in a series of reports that will analyse the complexity of child poverty across the country.
The group is calling on the Government to raise the Qualified Child Increase by a minimum of €7 for the under-12s, and a minimum of €12 for over-12s, in the upcoming budget.
It also says core social welfare rates should be increased by a minimum of €20 for all households with children.
And it wants to see the Hot School Meals Programme expanded nationally.
It says a pilot initiative for the expansion of school meals during holiday time should be considered "to address the issue of holiday hunger".
'Child poverty is not inevitable'
The alliance says back to school costs are an immediate concern for many families.
"The recently announced increase in the Back to School allowance is welcome, but this needs to be retained in 2022 and increased in 2023 in line with inflation", it adds.
And it notes that children in one parent families are "more than four-times more at risk of consistent poverty" than those in two parent families.
"To ensure equality between different household types and to increase the income of one parent families in work, reduce the Working Family Payment weekly work threshold from 19 hours to 15 hours for one parent families", it says.
Tanya Ward is chief executive of the Children's Rights Alliance.
"The ESRI warned early on that the pandemic could cause a rise in child poverty.
"Our Child Poverty Monitor analysis shows that the issues for children and young people are indeed starting to worsen – growing waiting lists for key health services and mental health supports, barriers to access education, increased need for social housing.
"The cost of heating your home or your weekly food shop are all rising. The trends are going in the wrong direction, the Government's response cannot."
"As we launch this report, there are thousands of children going without what we all consider to be basic essentials.
"Families are borrowing to scrape together enough money to send their child back to school.
"We need our leaders to make child poverty a political priority.
"This will require new, ambitious thinking and commitment to cross-departmental work - as the monitor emphasises, none of these issues exists or is experienced in isolation.
"Child poverty is not inevitable, it is the result of political choices.
"We are calling on the current Government to choose to break the cycle of poverty with more than 160,000 children and young people at risk".