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Government / IPBS

Hoosier babies and toddlers worse off in key factors, compared to other states

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Indiana is worse than the national average in many key indicators of child welfare. That’s according to a recent report from Zero To Three, a young child advocacy organization.

The report measures child welfare across a range of factors, from health to early learning and “strong family” policies. And in each of those categories, Indiana babies and toddlers trail their peers from across the country in several indicators.

In health, Indiana is worse for infant mortality, preventive medical care received and vaccinations. And less than 4 percent of Indiana families in poverty get TANF – or welfare – benefits. That’s 400 percent worse than the national average.

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Patricia Cole, Zero To Three senior director for federal policy, said there’s a critical need – in Indiana and across the country – to build an “accessible and affordable, high quality child care system.”

“Our system is near collapse after the pandemic and families are mostly on their own to cover the cost,” Cole said.

Just 7 percent of young Hoosier children in poverty have access to Early Head Start programs.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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