Risk Factor: Early Childhood Care and Education
The first years of a child’s life are crucial for maximizing long-term social and physical development. Children who get the right health, nutrition and education as infants and toddlers are more likely to overcome life-threatening diseases, graduate from high school, earn more in wages as adults, and are more likely to have healthier families as adults. Unfortunately, not all children have the same opportunities and access to quality care and education during these first years of life.
- In the Greater New Haven area, there are 1,630 subsidized infant/toddler slots in childcare centers which could serve AT MOST 31% of the infants and toddlers living in low-income households5
- On average, minority children start school with lower levels of school readiness than white children11
- National data shows that minority and low-income parents are less likely to read to their child daily and are less likely to install household security measures to ensure the safety of their child. Minority children are also less likely than white children to have consistent daily mealtimes and bedtimes12
Inspirational Innovation: StoryTime
2015 Thorne Prize Winner Compared to children from high-income families, children from the poorest families hear thirty million fewer words by the age of four. StoryTime is an edTech startup to scale early literacy for low-income families. Over 4 billion parents don’t have books, but do have mobile phones. StoryTime uses these to send families children’s stories and literacy activities— all by text message. With behavioral “nudges” to make nightly reading simple, StoryTime’s an early literacy program that the busiest parents can actually keep up with. Instead of fighting mobile phones for parents’ attention, they use them to get families talking face-to-face.