Conference addresses New Mexico’s low rankings in child well-being

Eyewitness News 4, KOB TV
June 26, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico is on the bottom of another important list after the annual Kids Count report was released earlier this month.

The report ranked New Mexico 49th in the U.S. when it comes to overall child well-being.

Every year a conference is held in Albuquerque following the report’s release. This year it was Monday at the Marriott Pyramid, where attendees discussed the rankings and ways the state can improve.

“One of the things that we can do is we can really continue to focus efforts on the early childhood years,” said Amber Wallin, director of Kids County in New Mexico. “We know these years are critical to brain development for kids, and while we’re making gains in our state, there’s still too many kids who don’t have access to high-quality preschool.”

Organizers said with a tight state budget, future changes to health care laws may be an uphill battle.

But they say focusing on areas that are already seeing improvement can provide momentum for other possible fixes.

Top five states for overall child well-being

1. New Hampshire
2. Massachusetts
3. Vermont
4. Minnesota
5. Iowa

Bottom five states for overall child well-being

50. Mississippi
49. New Mexico
48. Louisiana
47. Nevada
46. Arizona
45. Arkansas

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