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The 2018 Children Now California Children’s Report Card

The 2018 Children Now California Children’s Report Card
Posted on March 27, 2019 by CHS

Each year, the statewide advocacy organization Children Now compiles data on how children across the state are faring and produces a report called the California Children’s Report Card.

The report provides a comprehensive picture of children’s health, education, and welfare, and tracks key indicators of child well-being across California’s 58 counties. The report provides contextual comparisons with previous years as well as data by race and ethnicity. Children Now grades each category along a spectrum from “A” through “F.” The report also includes policy recommendations from Children Now.

Some of the findings from the 2018 Report Card include:

  • 43% of California’s children live in families who are low-income
  • 20% of children in the state live in poverty
  • California earned an “A” in Health Insurance because the state is making steady progress toward ensuring all kids have health insurance. Fewer than 100,000 children in the state were uninsured in 2017.
  • California earned a grade of “D+” in the category of Infant and Toddler Care because most low-income families with infants and toddlers cannot access quality, affordable child care due to the limited supply of licensed child care.
  • California earned a “B” in the category of Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten. In order to improve this score, California needs to increase access to subsidized programs for more low-income families with three and four-year-olds.
  • Children Now gave the state a “C-” in Early Learning Workforce Compensation and Training. The child care workforce in California is underpaid, stretched thin, and lacks consistent professional development support.
  • California received a “D” in Academic Performance. California ranks near the bottom nationally for performance in reading (40th), math (40th), and science (42nd).
  • California received a “C-” in Food Insecurity. Only 66% of income-eligible families in California participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and more than 20% of California’s children are food insecure.
  • California received a “D” in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. One in one hundred children are confirmed victims of abuse or neglect each year. One in eight children will be a victim of abuse or neglect by the time they reach 18.

In addition to an annual statewide report, Children Now offers an online interactive data tool to view the county-level data for each indicator and compare data across counties. The data tool can be accessed through the Children Now website. Please refer to the list below for some resources that address the needs identified in the above findings.


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