North Carolina ranks 34th in the country for child well-being. That's according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book. The annual report evaluates states on economic prosperity, health, education, and family and community. It found one-in-four children in North Carolina lives in poverty.
But the child advocacy group NC Child points out that more children have health insurance, are reading-proficient in fourth grade, and graduate high school on time. Research and Data Director Laila Bell said that is likely because of state programs supporting families.
"We can really point to the types of intentional, evidence-based investments that have happened in the past around things like expanding children's access to health insurance, and previous investments in things like preschool that have really helped to move the needle on measures in those categories," Bell said.
Bell said these metrics will likely suffer moving forward since North Carolina has cut funding for preschool and early intervention programs.