diversitydatakids.org is a comprehensive information system to monitor the state of wellbeing, diversity, opportunity and equity for U.S. children. You can create your own community profiles, analyze data, compare communities and build a case for investments in early life.
In this policy report, the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity. The report features the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level.
The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood, in the areas of early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context. The report also makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential.
Investing in children has been demonstrated to improve their lives, both during the school-age years and afterward, as assessed by outcomes such as employment and income; furthermore, these investments often help those in the most need. Campbell et al. (p. 1478) report that these investments can also lead to improved adult health. Results from a randomized and intensive intervention that involved 122 children in four cohorts recruited in the 1970s suggest that full-day child care for the first 5 years of life has produced adults in their 30s with better metabolic and cardiovascular health measures.
Access the full report here. (Membership or one-time fee required.)
Launched in 2007, ASCD's Whole Child Initiative is an effort to change the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long term development and success of children. Through the initiative, ASCD helps educators, families, community members, and policymakers move from a vision about educating the whole child to sustainable, collaborative action.
From OEIB's website:
OEIB's vision is to advise and support the building, implementation and investment in a unified public education system in Oregon that meets the diverse learning needs of our youngest Oregonians through post-secondary student, and provides boundless opportunities that support success.
By doing so, we ensure 100% high school graduation by 2025 and that Oregon students are college and career ready. Specifically, we believe that by 2025 we can reach the state's 40-40-20 goals: 40% completing 2-year degree; 40% completing 4-year degree; 20% career ready
The Oregon Health Authority has published “Health and Education in Oregon: Key Facts,” which provides state-specific data regarding the correlations between different facets of health and educational attainment, as well as proposed solutions for improving educational outcomes through public health interventions.
From the Strive Partnership:
Promoted by community leaders in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, an effort was launched in 2006 to target a problem of being 'program rich and system poor.' This effort, The Strive Partnership, is contributing to improved student outcomes. These successes have been achieved after significant investments of time, talent, and treasure by cross sector community leaders committed prioritizing education for their region. The Partnership engages executive and grassroots partners in the vision, works through turf issues among service providers, and encourages funders to move existing resources to proven strategies.
Visit the partnership at http://www.strivetogether.org/.
Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations. Substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most serious and complex social problems if nonprofits, governments, businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create collective impact. Published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2011.
The face of America is changing, and the fate of America hinges on how we react to – and invest in – those changes. Written with our partner, the University of Southern California's Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, America's Tomorrow makes the case that racial and economic inclusion is critical to succeeding in the global economy.
The Community Guide to Preventive Services summarizes what is known about the effectiveness, economic efficiency, and feasibility of interventions to promote community health and prevent disease. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services makes recommendations for the use of various interventions based on the evidence gathered in rigorous scientific reviews of published studies.
A vital and productive society with a prosperous and sustainable future is built on a foundation of healthy child development. Health in the earliest years—beginning with the future mother’s well-being before she becomes pregnant—lays the groundwork for a lifetime of vitality. When developing biological systems are strengthened by positive early experiences, children are more likely to thrive and grow up to be healthy adults. Sound health also provides a foundation for the construction of sturdy brain architecture and the achievement of a broad range of skills and learning capacities.
The “fetal origins” hypothesis proposes that alterations in fetal nutrition and endocrine status result in developmental adaptations that permanently change structure, physiology, and metabolism, thereby predisposing individuals to cardiovascular, metabolic, and endocrine disease in adult life.
From Health Affairs:
Many common chronic and mental disorders have modifiable precursors that arise during childhood. The life-course model of how health is produced provides a scientific basis for understanding the continuity between child and adult health. Life-course health policy seeks to promote the well-being of the young, both because of its intrinsic value and because doing so will improve the health of the population at all ages. It mandates increased attention to the promotion of biopsychosocial adaptability and other approaches to preventing the precursors to future disorders. Finally, it requires health policies to foster positive long-term outcomes focused on the individual, family, and community.
This workbook is for community-based organizations, public health practitioners, and community health partners seeking to create health equity by addressing the social determinants of health.This workbook is for community-based organizations, public health practitioners, and community health partners seeking to create health equity by addressing the social determinants of health.
From the World Health Organization
Poorer people live shorter lives and are more often ill than the rich. This disparity has drawn attention to the remarkable sensitivity of health to the social environment.
This publication examines this social gradient in health, and explains how psychological and social influences affect physical health and longevity. It then looks at what is known about the most important social determinants of health today, and the role that public policy can play in shaping a social environment that is more conducive to better health.
This report states that where you live determines how well you live, and that available resources are not always equally distributed. Communities of color and low-income communities face harmful community environments, such as poverty, toxins, or economic disinvestment, that compromise individual and community health. The framework described in this report provides a way to understand the relationship between community conditions and health, analyzes the connections among all the environmental factors that contribute to a healthy community, and identifies environmental effects on community health.
From the Ounce of Prevention Fund:
James J. Heckman, Ph.D., was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2000, and currently serves as the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. Interestingly, Dr. Heckman began his research by investigating the economic return of job retraining programs for steelworkers. He realized that those programs were largely ineffective because it was more difficult for the steelworkers to learn new skills at a later age and because there were fewer years to recoup the cost of retraining. Then he made a surprising change in his thinking.
“The real question is how to use the available funds wisely. The best evidence supports the policy prescription: Invest in the Very Young.”