© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Has the well-being of children in Illinois improved over the past decade? A new report explores.

A new report says that there are significant child well-being disparities in Illinois.

The new “Race for Results” report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation looked at several factors including early childhood services, education, & family resources.

Katelyn Jones is with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and helped provide Illinois data for the report.

“In general, our scores were above the national average for the well-being of children in most racial and ethnic groups. But the state ranked in the bottom third of states for the well-being of Black children,” she said. “This data point really underscores in Illinois, and in states more broadly, we're really failing to ensure that children, especially children of color, have all the resources they need to thrive.”

She says one metric that’s more important to pay attention to than you might realize has to do with 4th-grade reading levels.

“[We] need to make sure that they and their families have the resources they need," said Jones. "Because if we're not meeting the needs of those students in fourth grade, that's going to have long-term consequences for how they're doing as adults."

Illinois had one of the widest score disparities between demographic groups.

Nationwide, the rate of children born at normal birth weight and kids enrolled in early childhood education all declined over the past decade.

Child poverty rates have improved, but the report warns that those advancements are already being diminished since Congress chose to allow the expanded Child Tax Credit to expire at the end of 2022.

“Race for Results” urges federal and state governments to invest in policies like the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. Illinois has recently expanded its state Earned Income Tax Credit but has no state Child Tax Credit.

Editor's Note: The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a financial supporter of NPR.

Peter joins WNIJ as a graduate of North Central College. He is a native of Sandwich, Illinois.