Category Archives: Press Releases

Vermont Ranks Third in Latest National Rankings for Child Well-Being

Vermont ranks third in the nation for child well-being, according to the 2017 KIDS COUNT® Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Vermont continues to lead the nation on key indicators of child well-being.  “This is a time when we have to refuse to compromise what we have worked toward and built,” said Sarah Teel, research director at Voices for Vermont’s Children. “Vermont’s commitment to children has always been strong — a great public education system, very good access to health care, and a reliable economic safety net. This is something we can work to protect.”

The 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book focuses on key trends for children in the post-recession years and uses 16 indicators to rank each state across four domains — health, education, economic well-being, and family and community — that represent what children need most to thrive. Vermont ranks among the states:
  • First in family and community. The teen birth rate decreased by 33 percent between 2010 and 2015, but 28 percent of children are in single-parent families.
  • Fourth in health. Vermont has the second lowest child and teen death rate in the country, but 6 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 abused drugs or alcohol in the past year.
  • Fifth in education. 42 percent of eighth-graders score proficient or above in math, and 12 percent of high school students in the state do not graduate on time.
  • Ninth in economic well-being. At 4 percent, the state has the lowest percentage of teens ages 16 to 19 not attending school and not working. However, more than a quarter of kids (26 percent) live in families in which no parent has full-time, year-round employment.

Despite progress, there remains room for improvement in the economic well-being of children in Vermont. Fifteen thousand kids live below the poverty line, and almost a third of children are in households that spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Voices for Vermont’s Children recently released a state data book, Seeing the Whole Child, with data and research that places each of the national Data Book indicators in a Vermont-specific context. Seeing the Whole Child also provides rankings for each indicator, suggests numerical goals to help bring Vermont to the number one spot, and makes policy recommendations for achieving this.

Providing an adequate safety net, establishing family-supporting workplace policies and recognizing the power of community-wide investments would help to address disparities and reduce the impact of poverty in our communities, according to Carlen Finn, executive director at Voices for Vermont’s Children.

“We all have a stake in making sure our children are safe, healthy and supported,” Finn said.

Additional information is available at,  which also contains the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of indicators of child well-being. Journalists interested in creating maps, graphs and rankings in stories about the Data Book can use the KIDS COUNT Data Center at

A Better Way to Measure Poverty

Official Poverty Measure Fails to Provide an Accurate Assessment of Anti-Poverty Programs The Supplemental Poverty Measure Shows U.S. Child Poverty Rate Cut Nearly in Half by Safety Net Programs and Tax Policies MONTPELIER—The independent child advocacy organization Voices for Vermont’s Children is highlighting the release of the new KIDS COUNT® Data Snapshot, Measuring Access to OpportunityContinue Reading

Vermont ranks 2nd for children’s well-being; 2014 Data Book highlights impact of policies.

Voices for Vermont’s Children celebrates the release of the special 25th edition of the KIDS COUNT Data Book.  Since 1990 the KIDS COUNT Data Book has raised awareness locally and nationally of child well-being and what policies and programs might lead to improvements in child well-being in our nation. This year, Vermont ranks 2nd inContinue Reading

New KIDS COUNT Report: Race for Results

New National Scorecard on Children’s Progress Shows Troubling Obstacles to Reaching Key Milestones  Race for Results Identifies Need to Create More Opportunity for Success for all Children, Especially Those of Color The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® project released today the first Race for Results index, a report that builds on the well-known KIDS COUNTContinue Reading

Vermont Early Reading Proficiency Scores Reflect Impact of Income Inequality

  Voices for Vermont’s Children is partnering with the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the release of a new KIDS COUNT® data snapshot, Early Reading Proficiency in the United States.  According to the report, in 2013 58 percent of 4th grade students in Vermont were below proficient in reading as defined by the National AssessmentContinue Reading

New Child Health Report Released

Voices for Vermont’s children has released its new children’s health report: The State of Our Children: KIDS COUNT in Vermont Health Report.  The report highlights state-level trends in key measures of maternal and child health in Vermont. Healthy Vermonters guidelines, which are established by the Vermont Department of Health each decade to highlight goals andContinue Reading

Times Argus: Shumlin noncommittal on Paid Sick Days

MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin won’t say yet whether he’ll support passage of a paid sick days bill that could become a cornerstone of the progressive agenda in Montpelier next year. The legislation aims to supply full-time workers with at least seven days of paid sick time annually by imposing a new mandate on VermontContinue Reading

Brattleboro Reformer: Our Opinion: Ensuring America’s Success

“If we invest in childhood development through the early years then those children grow up to be productive members of our society, making our nation stronger and ensuring a brighter future for all of us… — Support parents so they can effectively care and provide for their children. States and the federal government should makeContinue Reading

Early Childhood Policy Report Released Nov. 4th

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s new KIDS COUNT policy report, The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success, sends a clear message that to meet the needs of kids, we need to focus on three goals: Supporting parents as they care for their children. Improving access to quality early care and education, health care andContinue Reading

Vermont Families See Cuts in Food Assistance Beginning in November

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cuts will impact nearly 47 million people including 22 million children nationwide. Beginning November 1st, more than 100,000 Vermonters, including 34,000 children1, will see their food assistance benefits cut, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, expires. All of the more thanContinue Reading