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New ‘Kids Count’ Report Focuses on ‘The First Eight Years’

Posted at 3:15 AM, Nov 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-04 04:35:11-05

kids countBALTIMORE, Md. — The latest KIDS COUNT report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation was released on Monday morning, and it focuses on the importance of investing in the early years of a child’s life.

KIDS COUNT is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States.

According to a press release that accompanied Monday’s publication:

The report details how a child’s early development across critical areas of well-being is essential to make the effective transition into elementary school and for long-term school success. According to a newly released analysis of the Early Childhood Longitudinal study that began to track 13,000 children who were in kindergarten in 1998-99, by third grade, only 36 percent of children were on track in cognitive knowledge and skills, 56 percent in their physical well-being, 70 percent in their social and emotional growth and 74 percent in their level of school engagement.

The analysis shows that just 19 percent of third-graders in families with income below 200 percent of the poverty level and 50 percent of those in families with incomes above that level had developed age-appropriate cognitive skills. This picture is particularly troubling for children of color, with 14 percent of black children and 19 percent of Hispanic children on track in cognitive development. Children who don’t meet these key developmental milestones often struggle to catch up in school and graduate on time and are less likely to achieve the kind of economic success and stability necessary to support a family themselves.

The report explores the roles that poverty can play in a child’s early cognitive and social development.  The authors then make recommendations on how to overcome the obstacles that parents face each and every day, including the support options that are in place.

To see the full report, click here.

Other KIDS COUNT Publications and Resources

Michigan Data