Michigan’s youngest learners – those between birth and age 5 – face daunting challenges. Consider:
- Poverty affects one of every five children ages 0-4 in Michigan.
- Forty five percent of all the births in Michigan are to single women well below poverty level. One of every 10 births in Michigan was to a teenager.
- Michigan has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation, ranking 43rd.
- More than 10,000 young children in Michigan suffered from neglect in 2006. A thousand more suffered other forms of abuse.
- Nearly half of the estimated 37,000 hospitalizations of Michigan children 5 and younger in 2006 could have been prevented by timely and effective primary care.
- The rate of young children receiving food stamps doubled from 2000 to 2007 and is now at 25 percent.
In our own Ingham County, we see similar numbers:
- 18% of children age 0-4 live in poverty.
- 32% of children are in single-parent homes.
- 47% of births were to Medicaid-eligible families.
- 53% of newborns qualified for food assistance.
- 17% of births were to mothers with less than 12 years of education.
- 13% of births were to foreign-born mothers.
- Deaths for black babies are more than three times the rate of deaths for white babies.