Connecticut Ranks 8th for Child Protection, National Study Finds

The data uses 16 indicators to measure four areas of assessment of children’s well-being: economic, education, health and family, and community context. The assessment is based on 2019 data, which is the latest available.

While the 16 indicators place Connecticut among the top 10, the state ranked third in education.

The Baltimore-based AECF releases annual data on the number of children as part of the organization’s mission to strengthen support for families and communities to improve opportunities for children.

Since 2010, the number of young Connecticut children out of school and high school students not graduating on time has improved. Both rates fell, with 34% of Connecticut children aged 3 and 4 not in school and 12% not graduating as expected.

Two indicators deteriorated slightly, however, according to the data. In 2019, the number of fourth-grade students not proficient in reading has increased since 2009 from 58% to 60%. The number of eighth graders who fail to meet the math target also increased from 60% to 61% over the same period.

Still, these metrics for Connecticut are better than the country as a whole.

Despite the positive growth, Lauren Ruth, director of research and policy at Connecticut Voices for Children, a member of the Kids Count network, said the pandemic could have an impact on the progress that has been made.

“Connecticut has excelled at connecting young children with the pre-school pandemic, but with more than 20% of child care providers closing their doors for good due to the pandemic and a Sharp decrease in the availability of preschool slots, we are on the verge of undoing this good work to educate and care for our youngest residents, ”she said in a press release.

The state also ranks among the best when it comes to health, though it falls to seventh on the list. The number of low birth weight babies in Connecticut and child and adolescent deaths declined from 2009 to 2019. The number of children without health insurance remained the same at around 27,000 or 3%.

Connecticut’s worst ranking was in Economic Welfare at No.27 out of 50.

The problem of children in poverty has worsened by 1% since 2009, now to 14%. All other indicators, such as children whose parents do not have secure jobs, children living in households with high housing costs, and adolescents who are out of school and not working, have improved.

The growing number of children living in poverty over the past decade has prompted both organizations to ask Congress to make the federal child tax credit permanent. They also recommend that Connecticut establish its own child tax credit.

Emily Byrne, executive director of Connecticut Voices for Children, said the tax credit would help families recover from the pandemic and help poor children.

“The data confirms what we have suspected since the onset of this crisis: The Connecticut economy is unable to recover from the pandemic fairly without significant investment and strategic planning,” Byrne said in a statement. hurry.

“The leaders of our state have taken a good first step this legislative session and must continue to act intentionally to reverse these trends in order to increase the economic security of families and avoid further economic decline. However, funding beyond the pandemic is needed to support progress, ”she said.

Other recommendations are a baby bond program and the expansion of Medicaid. Connecticut launched its CT Baby Bonds Program, designed to reduce the racial wealth gap and stimulate long-term economic growth.

Children born into poverty whose births are covered by HUSKY, the state’s Medicaid program, are eligible for the program.

When a beneficiary is between 18 and 30 years old and has met a financial education requirement, the funds are accessible. They can be used for education costs, to buy a home or invest in a business in Connecticut, or to help with retirement savings.

The bond program is funded for the next 12 years, with $ 50 million allocated each year.

“We repeatedly find that wealth has been a determining factor in the way our lives unfold, but it is usually passed down through families and many Americans just don’t have access to it, especially black Americans.” said Dr Naomi Zewde, assistant professor of health. policy at CUNY School of Public Health.

“This step is important: first, because it means that the residents of the state will have a sum of money at their disposal to make concrete decisions. And second, because we hope to see more states and the federal government follow suit, ”Zewde said.

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