Child development is most vital during the early years, usually until the age of 8, but the federal government isn’t doing enough to ensure the developmental well-being of low-income children, according to a report released Monday by Kids Count.
The report, titled “The First Eight Years: Giving kids a foundation for lifetime success,” was complied by Kids Count, which is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
According to the report, the first eight years in a child’s life are the most important for success in school and adulthood, but the federal government doesn’t invest enough in those early years.
Federal spending on children is lowest during a child’s early years, and since 2010 federal spending on children has declined and is projected to keep declining to its lowest point since the Great Depression over the next decade, according to the report.
Some of the effects of not investing in children is already starting to show.
A new analysis showed that by the age of 8, most children in the United States are not on track in cognitive knowledge and skills, with many also lagging behind in social and emotional growth, physical well-being and engagement in school, according to the report.For an expanded version of this article, please see Tuesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.