Category Archives: Publications

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

Equity In Vermont Education System Requires Multi-Level Approach

Equity In Vermont Education System Requires Multi-Level Approach

Voices for Vermont’s Children, an independent child policy research and advocacy non-profit, released a new report today. Education Matters: The Impacts of Systemic Inequity in Vermont examines the impacts of rising social inequality on Vermont students and student achievement by looking at indicators like standardized test scores, school size, disciplinary practices, out-of-school time, and graduationContinue Reading

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

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

Vermont 2nd in the Nation in Child Well-Being

The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book, an annual publication of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, tracks the well-being of America’s children, ranks Vermont as 2nd in the nation for overall child well-being.  While Vermont compares favorably with many other areas of the country, there are still many thousands of children in Vermont who do notContinue Reading

New Data Rankings Show VT Policies Working for Children

Vermont ranks third nationally in overall child health and well-being in the 2010 KIDS COUNT Data Book, the 21st annual state-by-state study on the well-being of America’s children, published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Vermont ranks in the top ten on eight of the ten individual indicators affecting child well-being that are reported inContinue Reading

KIDS COUNT Special Report on Reading Proficiency

Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical benchmark in a child’s educational development. Millions of American children reach fourth grade without learning to read proficiently. On May 18th, 2010 the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a KIDS COUNT Special Report, Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters.Continue Reading

How Are the Children? – New Data Released on Child Well-Being

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released it’s 20th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, a national and state-by-state report that includes key measures and statistical trends on the condition of America’s children and families. Along with the 2009 Data Book is a new Online Data Center that contains hundreds of measures of child well-being coveringContinue Reading