- The Narrative Project
Pandemic Poised to Exacerbate Decline in Economic Well-Being of Connecticut Families
Updated: Jul 1, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2021
CONTACT Ashlee Niedospial email@example.com 570.778.5916
New Data Shows Increase in Percentage of Children Living in Poverty in Connecticut, Confirms Urgent Need to Make Game-Changing Expanded Federal Child Tax Credit Permanent
An increase in child poverty: Between 2010 and 2019, there was an 8% increase in the percentage of children living in poverty in Connecticut, making Connecticut the only state to see an increase in the child poverty rate. National trends saw a 23% decrease in the percentage of children living in poverty. This increase in child poverty is especially concerning as it does not include the impacts of the pandemic.
An increase in youth connection: Between 2010 and 2019, there was a 20% decrease in the percentage of teens not in school and not working in Connecticut. Prior to the pandemic, the state did well at keeping teens engaged through either school or work. During this time, Connecticut’s national ranking of teens not in school and not working rose from third to first (with the lowest percentage ranked first).
An increase in preschool attendance of children: Between 2009-11 and 2017-19, there was an 11% decrease in the percentage of children ages 3 and 4 not attending school. During this time, Connecticut’s national ranking of the percentage of young children not in school rose from second to first (with the lowest percentage ranked first).
An increase in uninsured children: Between 2010 and 2019, there was a 25% decrease in the percentage of uninsured children nationally. While Connecticut's low rate of uninsured children has wavered between 3% and 5% between 2010 and 2019, there was a worrisome uptick between 2018 and 2019, when the number of children without health insurance in Connecticut increased by 32% from 20,372 to 26,901.
“Connecticut excelled in connecting young children with school pre-pandemic, but with more than 20% of child care providers closing their doors for good due to the pandemic and a sharp decrease in the availability of preschool slots, we are poised to undo this good work educating and caring for our youngest residents,” said Lauren Ruth, research and policy director with Connecticut Voices for Children. “Policymakers can use this moment to enact policies that protect the good work of the past decade while addressing long-standing inequities and repairing the damage brought on by the pandemic.” Investing in children, families and communities is a priority to ensure an equitable and expansive recovery. Several of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s suggestions have already been enacted in the American Rescue Plan, and additional recommendations include:
Congress should make the expansion of the federal child tax credit permanent and the State of Connecticut should create a child tax credit. The child tax credit has long had bipartisan support, so lawmakers should find common cause and ensure the largest one-year drop ever in child poverty nationwide is not followed by a surge.
State and local governments should prioritize the recovery of hard-hit communities of color.
States should expand income support that helps families care for their children. Permanently extending unemployment insurance eligibility to contract, gig and other workers and the State of Connecticut can create a state Baby Bonds program that would allow families to save.
States that have not done so should expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The American Rescue Plan offers incentives to do so.
States should strengthen public schools and pathways to postsecondary education and training.
Release Information The 2021 KIDS COUNT® Data Book is available at www.aecf.org. Additional information is available at www.aecf.org/databook. Journalists interested in creating maps, graphs and rankings in stories about the Data Book can use the KIDS COUNT Data Center at datacenter.kidscount.org. View the Connecticut state data profile here.
# # #
Connecticut Voices for Children is a “think and do” tank working to ensure that Connecticut is a thriving and equitable state, and where all children achieve their full potential. In furtherance of its vision, Connecticut Voices for Children produces high-quality research and analysis, promotes citizen education, advocates for policy change at the state and local level and works to develop the next generation of leaders. The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.