Nutrition and shelter in the realm of physical wellbeing are nonnegotiable. Once these are provided, everything else: love, security, education, opportunity become indispensable, which is much beyond essential.
The core and sum total of all our responsibility towards children is based on how they are provided the essentials for living quality lives, such as love, security, etc. The underlying element of all these is the need to teach children to think. And it is here that we fail most often and most critically.