October 24, 2018
Jennifer Bertram, 612-600-5115, firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnesota investments in policies and programs supporting children will lead the way to more prosperous communities for future generations
Rochester, Minn. – Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN) will release the 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book, entitled “Building Community in a Time of Changing Needs,” and kick off its 2018 KIDS COUNT Coffee tour at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday October 24 at Rochester Area Foundation in Rochester. Policymakers, community members, and the media are invited to learn about this year’s Data Book that focuses on trends in key indicators of child and family well-being and public policy that has improved or could improve outcomes for Minnesota’s youngest residents and the entire state. The Data Book highlights the role of community in supporting and enriching the lives of residents of Minnesota and ensuring that programs and policies in Minnesota are designed to equip all children with what they need to become successful adults.
The Data Book focuses on four key areas of child well-being: family and community, education, economic stability and health. Featured in the book are recent policy gains such as the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, increased minimum wage and increased funding to early education and the Child Care Assistance Program – all steps in the right direction to improve the trends highlighted in the data.
“We must invest in programs and policies now that move the needle for children today to ensure our future workforce is prepared to succeed. Disparities in outcomes for children of color and American Indian children persist in all areas of children’s lives and we must continue to work to make culturally relevant improvements to our programs and policies to stop perpetuating these gaps in outcomes,” said CDF-MN Executive Director Bharti Wahi. “We can support children by investing in two-generation programs and policies, including a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave Program so parents can care for newborn, newly adopted, or sick children without sacrificing economic security; additional investments to the Child Care Assistance Program to allow lower income parents to work while their children are kept safe in high-quality child care; and expanding tax credits and increasing the Minnesota Family Investment Program cash grant to our state’s poorest families. When families are supported in their communities by policies and programs that offer work supports, targeted outreach, culturally relevant programming, and early interventions, not only will more children thrive, but we also improve our collective prosperity through increased productivity, economic diversity and community involvement while reducing costly interventions.”
About the KIDS COUNT Data Book and KIDS COUNT Coffee Tour: Every year, CDF-MN publishes the Minnesota KIDS COUNT Data Book and fact sheets for all 87 Minnesota counties (available upon request) through a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The book provides state data based on a variety of indicators that show the well-being of Minnesota’s children and families. The data serve as benchmarks of child well-being for policymakers and citizens and help to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children. CDF-MN organizes an annual KIDS COUNT Coffee Tour around the release of the book to provide policymakers and citizens from around the state with the opportunity to learn about the data and engage on issues of child well-being. Learn more about the KIDS COUNT Data Book and the dates and locations of other KIDS COUNT Coffee events across the state here.