State of Island County Children & Youth Summit Partners for Young Children: Subcommittee of ICCC 2009 Data Presentation Summit Goals & Outcomes Connections for Kids Connections with Connections with Connections with community information actions Weaving a safety Absorbing recent Finding new ways net changes to work together Meet 3 new Identify 3 new Commit to 3 people facts you learned action steps Why is a Focus on Early Childhood Important? School readiness, as well as life-long success, is dependent on children‟s early environments and care because they are growing faster, in every way, than they will at any other time in their life. The Consequences of Poor Early Learning ► A child who is not ready and starts kindergarten ► “It appears that cognitive behind other children, abilities are set into a tends to stay behind trajectory of a certain level throughout school. before children start school. Early brain development is so important that risk factors in first grade predict dropout nearly as well as risk factors in high school.” James Heckman-Nobel Award winning economist Washington State Legislative Mandate The first goal of the Washington Learns‟ Ten-Year Goals for a World-Class Education System: “1. Parents will be their child‟s first and best teachers, and will have the support they need to help their children „learn to learn‟ in their first years of life.” WA State Kids Matter Framework 1. Social, emotional & mental health 2. Parenting information & support 3. Access to insurance & medical care 4. Early learning environments Who are we talking about? ► 5016children under age 5 in Island County (2007) 2640 0-5 year-olds are military ► Eachyear IC welcomes about 950 new babies 42% of these are first babies 3.6% will be low birth weight 10% are born to teen moms (decreasing since 2002, teen pregnancy rate 40 per 1000) Who are we talking about? ► In2007, IC had 12.7% children ages 0-18 (n=2,256) living in poverty which is less than $22,050 for a family of four. ► Average number of children using child care subsidy - 346/mo ► Many mothers are in the WorkFirst Program and must find childcare for infants as young as three months. How Are We Doing? ► Data sources Summary of responses sent in by Summit participants CCR&R 2007 report CHAB Key Health Indicators Kindergarten survey & educators‟ assessment Are IC children ready for school? ► A survey of Washington kindergarten teachers in 2004 found that more than half of children entering school were not ready. ► IC school staff report that: Most kindergarten children reach their academic benchmarks when they are socially & emotionally ready to start school Not all 5 year-olds are ready to begin school Kids coming into school not knowing their letters and sounds start out at a disadvantage. Reading curriculums at the elementary level are becoming more demanding, thus children need to know more academically when they begin school. Kindergarten parent readiness supports success for children. What educators wish children knew before beginning kindergarten • Pre-academic skills • Academic skills • Social skills • Communication skills • Self-help skills • Emotional skills School Readiness Begins at Birth ► 147 infants are born into “high risk” homes ► 24% of pregnant women receive no prenatal care or delay care until after the first trimester (2007). ► 12% of women who smoke during their pregnancy (2007). ► Infant care is challenging to find & costs on average $8700/year. ► Children receiving vaccines that have been recommended by at least 5 years or school entrance (Priority Key Health Indicator -3) School Readiness Emerges in Preschool-age years ► Over the last 5 years, the number of licensed facilities decreased overall by 11% (8 programs), with a net increase in the last two years. ► Expulsions from childcare and preschool are increasing dramatically. ► 24 Early Head start slots; 57 HS for a total of 81 spots ► Childcare quality is good or very good (Key Health Indicator -1) ► Reading to child (Key Health Indicator -1) ► Screen time (Key Health Indicator -1) Families of Young Children ► 2055 children ages 0-4 have families that fall into the “overburdened” or “at- risk” categories (2007: Office of Financial Management, population estimates, 2008). ► 220 families in Island County families (140 families and 80 child only) participated in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, 2008). ► For a family with an infant and a preschooler in full-time care, the cost represents 24-27% of the median annual household income. ► Unemployment and deployment are affecting many IC families A Look in Our Toolbox ► Services we are celebrating The Island County Children‟s commission Sales tax-funded mental health counselors in the schools Kids Dream Foster Parent Liaison Whidbey Island Nourishes (WIN) Homeless Liaisons in Districts ► Services that have gone away History of parent education position Funding for foster children over age 18 is being cut from the state budget – the area will be facing an increase in youth homelessness in the near future Frozen funding for Family Reconciliation Services Readiness To Learn funding is threatened Losing supports for Relatives as Parents program There will be fewer Parenting Classes available Maternity Support Services in danger Health and Safety Networks funding is threatened Family Preservation services funding threatened Public health, mental health and disability services (yet to be determined) We know what works … ► Economists and educators have found that investments in high-quality early learning, especially for at-risk children, yield significant benefits. ► $8 were saved for every $1 invested in early learning, as the costs of remedial education, special education, abuse and neglect, health care, school drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, crime, and incarceration were all significantly reduced. Perry Preschool Project Where do we go from here? Early childhood investments are a starting place for developing a high-quality, aligned system that ensures all children develop a solid foundation. “Partners for Young Children” invites you to participate.