The future prosperity of the United States and right here in Maine depends on widely distributed opportunity for all children, regardless of where they live or what racial or ethnic group they belong to. The sustainability of America’s prosperity depends on it.
The rapidly changing demographics of American society mean that children of color will play an important role in the country’s future prosperity. By 2018 children of color will represent a majority of children and by 2030 the majority of the work force will be filled by people of color.
Amid rapid demographic changes, a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows we have much ground to cover to ensure that all kids – especially children of color – are positioned to thrive.
The KIDS COUNT® policy report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, unveils the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level. The data can assist leaders who create policies and programs that benefit all children, and identify areas where targeted strategies and investments are needed.
The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood. The indicators were chosen based on the goal that all children should grow up in economically successful families, live in supportive communities and meet developmental, health and educational milestones. To compare results across the areas in the index, the indicators are grouped into four areas: early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context.
The report makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential:
- Gather and analyze racial and ethnic data to inform polices and decision making;
- Utilize data and impact assessment tools to target investments to yield the greatest impact for children of color;
- Develop and implement promising and proven programs and practices focused on improving outcomes for children and youth of color; and
- Integrate strategies that explicitly connect vulnerable groups to new jobs and opportunities in economic and workforce development.