On Thursday (3/17), MECEP Partner The Maine Children’s Alliance released their much anticipated 2011 annual KIDS COUNT data report.  

“The long-term success of our state begins with our youngest citizens, and it will require attention from all directions to prevent long-term problems,” Maine Children’s Alliance President Dean Crocker said at a Portland press conference. “Families, educators, doctors, business people, policymakers—all members of society must focus on what will best raise our children to become happy, healthy, productive citizens.”

 Later that day, Dean sent MECEP a note:

“When I got back to the office after the press conference, I found new information from the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities. Their staff writer, Arloc Sherman, introduced a very important research finding about the impact of income supports on children in families with income under $25,000 a year. The article, by Greg Duncan and Katherine Magnuson, summarizes research on the long-term impact of programs like the Earned Income Tax credit (EITC) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The fantastically good news is that children who get these supports perform markedly better in school and go on to earn significantly more (17% more!) and work more hours per year than kids who don’t.“

“The point is, for us early childhood advocates, we must fight for both: great early childhood programs like Head Start and Child Care and income supports like EITC and TANF and nutrition programs including food stamps and free school lunch,” Dean added.