- The percentage of children under the age of 4 lacking health insurance (5 percent) had little to no change from the 2011 report, although the amount of children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined by over 40,000
- The amount of young children receiving early intervention services and quality child care increased, both by approximately 6 percent, however, Head Start and other public pre-K programs served fewer children than the year prior
- About 38 percent of children under the age of 5 live in low-income families
- 16.5 percent of children ages 4 and under attend publicly funded pre-K, down from 17.6 percent in the 2011 report
- Child abuse and neglect reports and substantiations for children under 5 years old decreased
Only time will tell if the sluggish trend in critical school readiness factors will continue, or what (if any) the eventual impact will be on the Pennsylvania children just beginning their educations. Hopefully, accommodations can be made to maintain these programs as research has found demonstrable cognitive benefits of daycare and pre-K. Even when factors related to a child’s emotional and social development offset some gains, typically, the overall impact is not diminished.