Kentucky has improved its overall rating in an annual report measuring the well-being of children around the country. But the number of Kentucky kids living in poverty is at an all-time high.
Terry Brooks is executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. He says last year was the first time ever the commonwealth had to say more than one in four children are living in poverty. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count Data Book shows that rate has slightly increased to 27 percent. But Brooks says if you add up all the indicators including health, economic well-being, education and community, the state is ranked 34th, which is the best rating it’s had over the last decade.
“The trajectory for where the overall wellbeing of children is headed is a positive for the commonwealth," Brooks said.
Indicators for health and education improved over last year but Brooks says there is still room for improvement. He says investments in a child’s early years are important and cuts to early childhood programs in Kentucky over the last year need to be restored.