From The Annie E. Casey Foundation:
The 32nd edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book describes how children across the United States were faring before — and during — the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s publication continues to deliver the Foundation’s annual state rankings and the latest available data on child well-being. It identifies multiyear trends — comparing statistics from 2010 to 2019. In addition, the report shares data on how families endured throughout the pandemic.
HOW KIDS AND FAMILIES HAVE WEATHERED THE PANDEMIC
Every child needs food, health care and safe and stable housing. Millions of households with children already lacked these necessities before the pandemic, and this economic and public health catastrophe brought millions more face-to-face with challenges ranging from lost health insurance and bare pantries to the threat of homelessness due to eviction or foreclosure.
An additional area of concern: Students are completing a second academic year disrupted by COVID-19, undermining academic performance and altering post-high school plans.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RECOVERY
The nation will not recover from this crisis without innovative public policy. Several of the Foundation’s federal policy recommendations have already been enacted through the 2020 CARES Act and with 2021’s American Rescue Plan. Of particular note is the historic expansion of the federal child tax credit, which is expected to cut the child poverty rate by more than half. Unfortunately, the expansion is currently slated for only one year.
To continue progress already made on recovery, the Foundation recommends: making the expansion of the federal child tax credit permanent; strengthening state and local policies affecting kids and families; and prioritizing racial and ethnic equity in policymaking.
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