Kentucky KIDS COUNT rankings show need to improve Ky. kids' well-being

By: Brittany Nauta Email
By: Brittany Nauta Email

MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) The numbers are in for the Kentucky Kids Count county rankings on child well-being.

The index shows a need for stronger investments in Kentucky’s children. Counties that show the most room for improvement include Owsley, Knox, Martin and Clay.

The study focused on four major indicators: economic security, health, family and community strength and education.

Andrea Bennett, chief external affairs officer of the Kentucky Youth Advocates said they hope the rankings inspire change and growth in the commonwealth.

"Rankings can often be inspiring or they can be frustrating if you're toward the bottom but I think what we hope this does is inspire the conversation," said Bennett.

Early intervention is one way Teresa James, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services, says will be the key to building solid foundations for future generations.

"How do we, within our communities be able to provide the services that families need so that we can get early intervention into place, not only for children, but for parents when parents begin to struggle," said James.

As part of an effort to encourage early success in the classroom, Clay County schools incorporate the nation-wide program “Early Steps to School Success” into their curriculum.

"This is to get the parent and the child in the school so that the transition from home to school will be pleasant," said Hacker Elementary School Early Childhood Coordinator, Wilma Bishop.

Coordinators encourage literacy at an early age and ‘family learning’ at home.

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