Rhode Island ranks as top state for babies

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new study ranks Rhode Island and Massachusetts as two of the top states for babies.

Rhode Island and Massachusetts were among 12 states, and Washington D.C., to get a top ranking in the State of Babies Yearbook: 2019. The study was led by early childhood development nonprofit ZERO TO THREE and children’s research organization Child Trends.

The study compared states by almost 60 indicators for children under three, in the areas of good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. 

According to the study, Rhode Island’s young children fare better than the national average in:

  • Women receiving timely prenatal care: 98.3% for Rhode Island mothers, compared to 93.8% for nationally
  • Babies with all the recommended vaccines: 75.5% in Rhode Island, compared to 70.7% nationally
  • Infants/toddlers receiving Early Intervention services: 6.1% for Rhode Island children, compared to 3.1% nationally

Rhode Island’s young children fare worse than the national average in:

  • Mothers of infants/toddlers who rate their mental health as worse than “excellent” or “very good”: 32.4% of Rhode Island mothers compared to 22% nationally
  • A rate of maltreatment of infants/toddlers (per 10,000 population): 27.9% in Rhode Island, compared to 16% nationally
  • Prevalence of one adverse childhood experiences among infants/toddlers: 23.9% in Rhode Island, compared to 21.9% nationally         

There is a push from Rhode Island Kids Count to improve on this ranking. The organization is working to increase access to affordable quality childcare and paid family leave.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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