Research Shows North Iowa Kids get the Best Starts in Life

  A recently report released shows north Iowa and Iowa in general are doing a nice job in ensuring its kids get the best start in life. 
  The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2017 Kids Count Data Book examines key indicators of how children and families are faring across the U.S. and ranks Iowa fifth nationally for overall child well-being. 
  Iowa KIDS COUNT director Michael Crawford says the state is in the top 10 among states in the areas of economic well-being, education and health.

  Crawford says the most notable finding is that 96 percent of children in Iowa now have health-care coverage. Nationally, it is 95 percent. The report credits key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, as well as investments in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, for the historic number of kids with health insurance.
  Crawford says fewer kids are living in poverty, more parents have jobs and more families are able to afford housing. 
  But, he contends there always is room for improvement and suggests a raise in the Earned Income Tax Credit among other things.

  The Casey Foundation’s Laura Speer, associate director for Policy Reform and Advocacy, says data-driven investments and policies are crucial to ensure a promising future for the next generation.

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