Children in Stanislaus County need to be read to more and visit the dentist, according to the 2014-15 California County Scorecard put out by Children Now.
The nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes children's health and education in California released its annual report that provides each county with a snapshot of the health, education, child welfare, and economic well-being of children in the area. With 29 key indicators to measure the current status of children, the report encourages communities to share best practices and foster collaboration that will ultimately benefit children.
"The Scorecard provides local leaders and stakeholders with a holistic view of children's well-being to identify the most pressing needs of children living in their community, whether they live in Los Angeles or Del Norte County, are African American, White, or Latino," said Children Now president Ted Lempert.
Receiving 2.5 stars out of 5 in relation to other counties, Stanislaus County is below California's average on educational measures, including the number of young children (ages 0-5) who are read to every day and the number of 3 and 4 year olds who attend preschool.
However, the county overtakes the average on the number of high school science classes that are taught by a highly qualified teacher and the number of students who feel connected to their school.
The scorecard also measured the county on a variety of health topics. With 2 stars out of 5 for overall health, the county is below average on a majority of categories, including the number of children who have a usual source of health care and children who have visited a dentist in the last year.
There are a few bright spots on the report. Stanislaus County is ahead of the California average regarding children who have health insurance for the entire year and asthmatic children who have been given an asthma management plan.
On child welfare and economic well-being, the county received 3 stars out of 5 in relation to other counties. Stanislaus County is below average on young children (0-3) who do not experience recurring neglect or abuse and children in the child welfare system who exit to permanency within three years.
However, the county exceeds the average when it comes to the number of adolescents in the child welfare system who are placed in family-like settings.
Children Now hopes that Stanislaus County-as well as the 57 other counties in the state-will take the data provided on this year's California County Scorecard to further improve the well-being of its children, with a preliminary focus on the categories mentioned above.
"Too many California children lack access to high-quality early learning experiences, great schools, timely and integrated health care services, healthy foods and safe places to play," said Lempert. "Solutions to these access and quality challenges need to meet the unique needs of individual communities."
To view the 2014-2015 California County Scorecard for Stanislaus County, visit scorecard.childrennow.org/2014/county/stanislaus.