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New Report Provides Unique, Detailed View of Children's Well-Being in Each California County

Oct 09, 2012

OAKLAND, CA—An interactive, online report released today delivers a current and comprehensive picture of children’s condition in every one of California’s 58 counties. Authored by Children Now, the leading multi-issue research and advocacy group for children in California, the 2012 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being presents county-level data visualizations that surface locally-distinct problem areas and bright spots among similar counties. The report also sheds light on strong place-based and racial disparities throughout the state.

The Scorecard provides measures and trend analyses for 28 key indicators of child well-being for each county, such as “3- and 4-year-olds who attend preschool,” “3rd-graders who read at grade level,” “12th-graders who graduate on time,” “Children who are in a healthy weight zone” and “Children who have health insurance for the entire year.” Additionally, for each indicator, the report shows how a county’s performance compares to all other counties – i.e., by placing it in the “Top,” “Middle” or “Bottom” range – gives the state average and breaks out performance by race/ethnicity.

“The Scorecard’s holistic, county-by-county view of children’s well-being is unique and critical,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now. “It highlights where California’s policymakers need to do a better job of crafting solutions that meet all kid’s needs, whether they live in a low-income rural county or urban center, are African American or Latino. Our public policies should work equally well for all children, but this report shows they’re not.”

Broad performance ranges are reported among counties and racial/ethnic designations for the majority of indicators of children’s well-being measured in the Scorecard. For example, “3- and 4-year-olds who attend preschool” ranges from a low of 34 percent in Kern County to a high of 73 percent in Marin County; and, within Marin County, from a low of 32 percent for Latino children to a high of 90 percent for white children.

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