Between birth and three years of age, a child’s brain undergoes profound physical changes and grows dramatically in size. As much as 80 percent of a child’s brain development occurs during these first three years, laying the foundation for that child’s later life outcomes.
A policy brief reviewing the efforts of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Denver, Colorado and Sioux Falls, South Dakota to develop comprehensive early childhood investment strategies.
The recession likely will drive an additional 8,388 children in Shelby County into poverty.
While poverty has many negative implications for the well-being of our community, one of the most tangible is a long-term reduction in our economic productivity. New research suggests that childhood poverty in our community will worsen because of the current economic crisis. In this brief, we estimate that the current recession will cause an additional 8,388 children in Shelby County to fall into poverty and will reduce the future GDP of the metro area by nearly $230 million a year, every year of these children’s working lives.
Why is it important to improve the well-being of the youngest children in Tennessee?
There are two realities for families in Memphis. Many communities in the city and county are safe, and their residents are well-educated and well-paid. These communities enhance the life chances of children and families. Too many families—however—live in neighborhoods where poverty and crime are the norm; where there are few decent jobs, and where there is little confidence in schools and other community institutions.