Today, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 25th edition of its KIDS COUNT Data Book. The report tracks indicators of important childhood well-being in all 50 states across four broad categories: education, health, family and community and economic well-being. These categories are commonly used by organizations who examine welfare of the whole child and they present a picture of what a healthy society looks like based upon its youngest members.
The Data Book’s annual insights align well with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s programmatic priorities and investments to promote the health, education and well-being of children. This year’s report offers some measured optimism and sobering reminders. More children are attending preschool and children are being born healthier, while at the same time, the rate of child poverty is worsening and, across the board, children of color continue to face a large disparity gap.
In the Kellogg Foundation’s four U.S. priority places – Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and Louisiana, where we focus on New Orleans – the indicators make clear that substantial work continues to lie ahead. Despite this, we are heartened by the trend lines moving in the right direction and by the considerable ground-level work undertaken by many Kellogg Foundation grantees and other partners, a few examples of which we share here.