Children’s advocacy group issues ‘report card’

A nonpartisan advocacy group for children reported Wednesday that N.J. children are losing ground in several areas, including a drop in the number of women receiving early prenatal care, a slight decrease in on-time graduation rates, and a drop in the number of children immunized by age 2.

The first-ever New Jersey Kids Count Report Card, published by Advocates for Children of New Jersey, is part of an annual look at the state of New Jersey as it relates to the well-being of children in key areas such as health and poverty.

On the positive side, the report found a drop in infant mortality, a decrease in juvenile arrests, and a drop in the number of children without health care coverage.

Also, there was an increase in the number of children enrolled in nursery school or preschool.

“All four areas in which gains were made have been the focus of sustained, collective efforts to address a problem,”  Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of ACNJ, said in a statement. “This shows that when we invest in children, we get results.”

Other problem areas found by the report:

There are more children living in low-income families, there was an increase in the number of  children living in low-income families who face high housing costs, an increase in the number of idle, or jobless, youths, and a slight increase in instances of child abuse or neglect.

The report can be found here:

http://www.acnj.org/main.asp?uri=1103&di=1930

Children’s advocacy group issues ‘report card’