New “Strong Start Index” Designed to Help California’s Children to Thrive and Succeed

Monday, February 18, 2019

The California Strong Start Index, a unique new tool that seeks to make better and smarter use of available data about children, was launched. The Index is based on the premise that all children deserve a strong start in life. First 5 Association of California, partner to the 2018 California Economic Summit, and Children’s Data Network developed the Index to help policymakers, service providers and government agencies support children and families more effectively and to ensure that resources go where they are needed most.

Half a million babies are born in California each year, with some having access to more resources than others. Children’s experiences and environments between birth and age five are foundational to their later good health, educational attainment and overall well-being. Research shows that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops by age five; thus, the earlier resilience can be developed in children, the better.

The new Index will use and link information collected at birth for every child in the state. The goal is to help children grow up on a more equal footing and to enable all children to receive the support and services that they need to thrive.

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