KIDS COUNT report ranks Arizona 45th in nation

Kids CountAccording to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, Arizona ranks 45th in the nation based on an analysis of specific factors that impact our youth including economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

While the KIDS COUNT index highlights both positive and negative findings, there are a number of disadvantages that have increased in recent years:

  • The number of Arizona children in poverty increased by 5% from 2008 to 2014, resulting in a total of 408,000 children in 2014
  • Children whose parents lack secure employment increased by 3% from 2008 to 2014, resulting in a total of 515,000 children in 2014
  • Arizona children living in high-poverty areas increased by 8% since 2006 through 2010, resulting in 388,000 children in 2010 through 2014
  • Children in single-parent families increased in Arizona by 2% from 2008 to 2014, resulting in a total of 569,000 children

Parenting while struggling with financial burden is no easy venture; however, the importance of building a positive foundation for children directly correlates with the future of our society as a whole. Ensuring high-quality early education and development is achieved in young children is a nonnegotiable component of the overall well-being of Arizona communities.

The report illuminates the reality that Arizona children continue to face an array of setbacks. Southwest Human Development offers free programs designed to combat these challenges for families. Numerous programs are dedicated to serve low-income children by instilling comprehensive child development. Programs such as Head Start and Raising A Reader ensure that children are set on a path to educational success. Reach Out and Read and Little Free Libraries initiatives seamlessly integrate within the community to promote and develop early literacy skills. These type of early education programs have significant power to impact our children’s future.

Southwest Human Development caters to and helps drive the success of children ages 0 to 5 to cement positive growth at the heart of the developmental process. Arizona improved in a number of KIDSCOUNT categories, but there is no room for shortcomings. Our future and our children’s future relies on their success.