Millions of infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers lack access to affordable, high-quality early care and education opportunities.
Early Learning & Pre-K
Millions of pre-schoolers lack access to affordable, high-quality education opportunities.
- Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs Lead to Better Future Educational Performance – Low-income children who attend pre-school programs perform at higher levels than those who do not. Children attending high-quality programs had one or more of the following outcomes: lower special education rates, lower grade retention rates, higher achievement test scores, higher high school graduation rates, and higher post secondary enrollment rates.
- Pre-Kindergarten Education Programs Help the Economy Thrive – The average benefits from a universally accessible pre-school education program at ages 3 and 4 are estimated to be at least $25,000 per child, substantially more than the costs. The estimated cost- per-child (mixing half day, school day, and full day programs) is $8-$17K for two years.
Child Abuse and Neglect
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There are over 3 million reports of child abuse and neglect a year. Thousands of children are killed and severely injured. Abuse and neglect take a long-term physical and emotional toll on individual children, their families, and the communities in which they live.
In 2008, there were 758,289 victims
of child abuse and neglect.
- Child abuse and neglect costs America $109.1 billion a year and contributes to numerous social problems such as poverty, crime, and alcohol and drug abuse.
- For every dollar spent on treating child abuse, only 13 cents are spent on preventing it.
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Millions of children and youth who are in unsupervised situations at the end of each school day would benefit from participation in quality after-school programs, where learning continues in a safe, supervised environment.
Persistent poverty can interfere with children’s ability to learn. It can lead to poor health, drug use, crime, and incarceration, among other risky behaviors and consequences that extract a hefty toll on the individuals and society.
The rich countries that have a much lower child poverty rate than the U.S. have a much higher rate of government intervention—namely taxes and transfers.
We know, too, that a variety of programs to assist the poor make a difference as well. The programs of the 1960s—Medicare and Medicaid, Head Start, food stamps, low income energy assistance all combined to bring child poverty to a record low of 15%.
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While the recently enacted comprehensive health reform bill will ensure that most children and youth receive timely and comprehensive medical attention, those children covered under Medicaid may be at risk if states’ budget problems continue.