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Report: NH Ranked 2nd for Child Well-Being

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's recent edition of the Kids Count Data Book places New Hampshire sixth in the country for family and community rankings, fifth for education, and sixth for health and economic well-being. (Mohan Nannapaneni/Pixabay)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation's recent edition of the Kids Count Data Book places New Hampshire sixth in the country for family and community rankings, fifth for education, and sixth for health and economic well-being. (Mohan Nannapaneni/Pixabay)
June 29, 2020

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire is the second best state in the country for children's well-being, according to a national report.

The annual Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book showed New Hampshire faring especially well in family and community indicators, including fewer children living in high-poverty areas. New Futures Vice President for Policy Jake Berry said he appreciates the ranking, but cited big gaps for some children in the state.

"There are children with families who do not have access to resources either through our public school system, through family resource centers, through home visiting programs, throughout child care, that they really need to thrive," Berry said.

The Casey Foundation report used data from 2018, based on the latest available information. The foundation plans to publish an update on how COVID-19 is impacting children.

Berry said New Hampshire has a strong public school system, and average household income and education level are relatively high - this is why he thinks the state does well in the Kids Count rankings. But he said he has one big concern about COVID's long-term effects on young people.

"The trauma that children are experiencing in their home and family and social lives; many children have been removed from their schools or their day-care centers, or are not able to be in regular touch with their grandparents or family members that really make up so much of their social circle," he said.

Berry said he's also worried about the lack of affordable child care in many parts of the state, particularly as people return to work.

Laura Rosbrow-Telem, Public News Service - NH