Arizona ranks 39th out of 50 states for child wellbeing. – Annie E. Casey Foundation
Unique Challenges Facing Arizona’s Children
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, access to child care is a protective factor that helps prevent child abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, the number of Arizona children in low-income working families participating in child care assistance dropped from 29,000 in 2009 (when funding to the program was cut) to fewer than 7,500 in 2014.
At the same time, the number of reports of child abuse and neglect in Arizona rose 36%, overwhelming the state’s Child Protective Services system. The loss of access to affordable, quality childcare for parents who are working, in school, or searching or training for a job contributed to the CPS crisis.
More than 1 in 5 children under 5 live in poverty.
Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and can contribute to poor health. The presence of strong protective factors, including high quality early learning experiences, can offset the consequences of poverty.
Of every 5 children, 1 lives in a home headed by a high school dropout.
People who don’t complete high school are more likely to live in poverty. One in 10 high school freshmen in Arizona will drop out of school before graduating. Their children are more likely to repeat grades, require special services, and risk dropping out of high school themselves.
More than 1 in 10 babies are born to teen mothers.
Children born to teen mothers are at increased risk for school failure and poverty.
Nearly 1 of 3 children live in a home where English is the second language.
In the Balsz School District where Educare Arizona is located, 75% of children enter kindergarten struggling to speak English.
Fewer than half of Arizona children ages 0 to 3 are read to regularly.
Research shows that children who are read to daily by their parents or caregivers perform better in school.