New KIDS COUNT Policy Report
With almost half the nation’s young children growing up in low-income households, a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation calls for a comprehensive effort to lift kids out of poverty. The KIDS COUNT® policy report, Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach, focuses on the importance of delivering high-quality early childhood education while simultaneously providing parents with access to job training, career paths and other tools that enable them to support their families.
Here in Arizona we’re working on several two-generation approaches: rebuilding child care assistance to prevent child neglect, delivering a range of family support strategies through the dedicated tobacco tax at First Things First, offering parents professional mentoring in their own homes to improve parenting skills and workforce participation, and helping families connect to health coverage plus other critical benefits through one coordinated electronic application – known as HEA Plus.
The Arizona statistics in the report show the importance of these efforts and the critical need to reach more families:
- More than half (51%) of Arizona children age 8 or younger live in low-income families. Only Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico and Idaho have higher percentages.
- Nearly one out of four young children in Arizona living in low-income families had parents who said that child care issues affected their jobs: they had to quit a job, turn down a job offer, or greatly change their job because of problems with child care. This is the second highest rate in the nation.
For more information on the conditions that Arizona families are living in click here to go to the KIDS COUNT Data Center.