The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest KIDS COUNT policy report, The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success, presents a strong case for investing in the early years of a child's life. Decades of brain and child development research show that kids who enter kindergarten with below-average language and cognitive skills can catch up — but only if they are physically healthy and have strong social and emotional skills.
The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book finds that children in the United States continue to make gains in the areas of education and health despite a growing poverty rate. This annual report ranks states in areas of child well-being using 16 key indicators. The Data Book also offers expanded coverage of America’s youngest children, adding to the ongoing national conversation on early childhood education.
In its latest KIDS COUNT data snapshot, the Casey Foundation finds that the rate of young people locked up because they were in trouble with the law dropped more than 40 percent over a 15-year period, with no decrease in public safety. The snapshot indicates that the number of young people in correctional facilities on a single day fell to 70,792 in 2010, from a high of 107,637 in 1995. The publication also recommends ways to continue reducing reliance on incarceration and improve the odds for young people involved in the justice system.
Nearly 6.5 million U.S. teens and young adults are neither in school nor in the workforce. With employment among young people at its lowest levels since the 1950s, these youth are veering toward chronic unemployment as adults and failing to gain the skills employers need in the 21st century. In addition to new national and state data on the issue, this KIDS COUNT policy report offers recommendations to support youth in gaining a stronger foothold in the economy.
This new report reveals that extended family and close friends care for more than 2.7 million U.S. children. This longtime practice, known as kinship care, has become more prevalent over the past decade, with an 18 percent increase in the number of youths raised by relatives. In fact, an estimated one out of 11 kids will live with extended family for at least three consecutive months at some point before age 18.