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Improving the Odds for Young Children

Improving the Odds for Young Children provides information to answer key questions about states’ efforts to support the well-being and school success of young children, including:

How do my state’s policies affecting young children compare to other states’? Which young children in my state are at high risk of poor school or health outcomes? How many highly vulnerable infants and toddlers live in my state?

State specific and national information can be obtained from two ITO resources, the Early Childhood State Policy Profiles and the Young Child Risk Calculator, described below.

Early Childhood State Policy Profiles

This resource shows each state’s policy choices in the areas of health, early care and education, and parenting and family economic supports. The Early Childhood State Policy Profiles can be used to assess and consider ways to strengthen current policy choices that can affect young children’s health, development and school readiness. This resource also provides information about trends in policy choices across the states.

Young Child Risk Calculator

This tool provides state-specific information about the number of young children who are at-risk of poor outcomes in such areas as school performance, health, or mental health due to family or life circumstances known as “risk factors.” The Young Child Risk Calculator (YCRC) offers the following information for each state in five age bands (0-2, 3-5, 6-8, under age 6, and under age 9): 1) the percentage of young children experiencing both selected risk factors (such as teen parent, residential mobility) and economic hardship (extreme poverty, poverty, or low-income); 2) the percentage of young children experiencing selected risk factors at all income levels; and 3) the percentage of young children experiencing multiple risks. For example, the user can see how many children under the age of three live in households without English speakers and in families in extreme poverty. The YCRC can be used to better understand the number and characteristics of vulnerable young children in the state and to consider strategies for supporting their healthy development.

Please contact us if you would like NCCP’s assistance. We can provide:

  • Background information on ITO policies, and suggestions for presenting this information in reports or presentations (for example, compare your state’s eligibility levels for child care to other states and national trends);
  • Information about research on risk factors and implications for designing policies and targeting programs.

Improving the Odds is funded by The Alliance for Early Success.