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President Trump tours hurricane-ravaged parts of Florida. Also on the Tuesday rundown: We examine whether the U.S. spending too much to guard confederate cemeteries; and the spotlight is on mental health during National Children’s Health Month.

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Report: MI Should Support Young Parents to Secure Future

A new study shows that the vast majority of young parents between 18 and 24 lack a higher education beyond high school. (Anita Peppers/Morguefile)
A new study shows that the vast majority of young parents between 18 and 24 lack a higher education beyond high school. (Anita Peppers/Morguefile)
September 25, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — As the saying goes, "the children are our future." But kids born to moms and dads barely out of their teens face an uphill battle, according to a new report called "Opening Doors for Young Parents."

Researchers from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that 9 percent of all 18- to 24-year-olds in Michigan - or about 85,000 people - have young children, and those families have about 100,000 kids between them. Alicia Guevara-Warren, Kids Count project director with the Michigan League for Public Policy, said one good idea would be to expand access to higher education and training.

"Nearly 3 in 4 children in Michigan with young parents are living in families with low incomes,” Guevara-Warren said. “So it really points to economic security as an issue and it's directly tied into educational attainment."

The report found that only 8 percent of young parents in Michigan have an associate degree or higher, and almost 46 percent of children with young parents have a mom or dad who is considered "disconnected" - meaning unemployed, not in the labor force, and not in school. The authors recommended better funding for adult education, Section 8 housing, and health care subsidies.

The report also showed that, nationally, just 5 percent of young parents receive child care subsidies, even though almost two-thirds need child care. Rosa Maria Castaneda, senior associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, noted that 41 percent of young parents said they've had times where they couldn't work because they couldn't find affordable child care.

"Young parents have told us and have reported in surveys that child care is one of the big pieces that they struggle with to be able to make ends meet and participate in the economy successfully,” Castaneda said.

The report authors said one important way to help young families get by would be to lower the age for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit from 25 to 21, and to lower the age limit to 18 for the state version.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MI