Advocating for
Rhode Island's children since 1994
Girl Reading
We use the best available data to inform policy decisions
We bring people together to improve child outcomes

What's New

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Makes Data Local in Newport

At the Newport Data in Your Backyard virtual event on October 6, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Deputy Director Stephanie Geller led a data-driven discussion on the well-being of Newport children and families. The presentation’s data comes from the 2020 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook, and includes improvements and declines in economic well-being, education, health, child welfare, and safety. The event was brought to the community in collaboration with Newport Partnership for Families and BankNewport. For more information, please see the presentation, media releaseevent recording, Newport Daily News coverage, and What's Up Newport coverage.

New Report! Policies and Practices Supporting Student-Centered Learning in Rhode Island: School Climate 

This new report uses an equity lens to look at policies, practices, and measures of school climate, including student mental and behavioral health. The report suggests actions we can take to ensure that all students, particularly students of color, low-income students, differently-abled students and Multilingual Learners, are in schools that prioritize strong relationships between students and educators and promote excellent, equitable learning while also ensuring student safety and emotional well-being. For more, please see the media release and release event recording.

New Census Data on Health Insurance Coverage and Poverty Shows: 

  • 98.1% of Rhode Island children had health insurance coverage in 2019, Rhode Island ranks 2nd best among states, up from 3rd last year. Please see the full media release for more.
  • 14.0% of Rhode Island’s children lived in poverty in 2019. COVID-19 expected to result in large increase in child poverty and existing racial and ethnic disparities in 2020 and beyond. Please see the full media release for more.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Statement on the 2020 Census

The Census shapes the lives of Americans in a variety of ways -- the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding; determining congressional representation; and planning at the federal, state, and community level.

Certain populations have historically been undercounted in the decennial Census, including young children under age five, people of color, immigrants, low-income populations, people experiencing homelessness, people living in non-traditional households, people with disabilities, and people who distrust the government. Targeted, specific outreach and engagement will help us get a complete and accurate count of these populations in the 2020 Census.

We can’t overstate this: young children under age 5 are the most highly and consistently undercounted population. Children who aren't counted in the 2020 Census won't be counted again until they are in high school - or even college and beyond. This means that potential funding to enrich their entire childhood will be lost. Ensuring an accurate count is critical, so that our communities are appropriately funded, and Rhode Islanders are accurately represented! Please click here for our full statement.

Equity Analysis of Rhode Island School Reopening Plans

Closing unacceptable, wide, and persistent gaps for differently-abled students, students of color, low-income students, Multilingual Learners, students in foster care, and students experiencing homelessness must be Rhode Island’s most urgent educational priority. This analysis reviews how Rhode Island district reopening plans address equity by examining how plans meet the needs of specific groups.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Statement on Reopening Schools 

The conversation about reopening schools -- and whether learning will be distance, hybrid, or in-person -- is weighing heavily on the minds of many, many families across Rhode Island and the country. It's complex and deeply personal for each family, student, and educator. Reopening schools sits directly at the intersection of our core values of equity, student-centered learning, and parent voice. With that in mind, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT issued this statement to inform the conversation. Information on state and district plans for reopening is available at Rhode Island KIDS COUNT will continue to share information as this process unfolds.


Two New Child Welfare Fact Sheets

  • Rhode Island’s Voluntary Extension of Care Program: Update provides updated data on the Voluntary Extension of Care (VEC) program that was established to allow youth previously in the care of the Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) to voluntarily participate in extended services until age 21. The report provides data on education, employment, and housing outcomes, information on recent Executive Orders allowing youth eligible for extended foster care to continue receiving services during the COVID-19 public health crisis, and recommendations for providing the tailored supports and services that youth need through DCYF’s VEC and Foster Forward’s YESS Aftercare programs. 
  • Achieving Race Equity in the Child Welfare System provides data on racial and ethnic disparities in child welfare in Rhode Island (including data on indicated investigations, likelihood of out-of-home placement, type of out-of-home placement, and children reaching permanency), information on the potential causes of these disparities, and recommendations for achieving race equity in the child welfare system.

National KIDS COUNT Data Book

This week, The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2020 edition of the national KIDS COUNT® Data Book, an annually published resource that tracks child well-being nationally and state by state and ranks the states accordingly. As always, the report is based on the latest available data for 16 key indicators. This year, Rhode Island ranks 26th for overall child well-being. Rhode Island’s profile with additional information about rankings in the areas of Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community is available in both English and Spanish.

The data for the 2020 report are 2018 data, so they do not reflect current conditions amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The Casey Foundation plans to explore the effects of the pandemic on child well-being in a future report but is releasing the annual Data Book as usual to ensure legislators and other policymakers, researchers and advocates for children have the information they are customarily able to access at this time of year. 

Hard-Copy Factbooks Now Available!

The 2020 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook charts improvements and declines in the well-being of Rhode Island’s 203,908 children with a core focus on equity. Information is presented for the state of Rhode Island, each city and town, and an aggregate of the four core cities (cities in which more than 25% of the children live in poverty). The Factbook allows us to take stock of where Rhode Island effectively supports children’s development and where we need to focus increased attention and efforts. 

New Issue Brief: Child Poverty in Rhode Island

On Thursday, June 11, 2020, we released our latest Issue Brief: Child Poverty in Rhode Island. Reflections were provided by Congressman David Cicilline, Sharon Conard-Wells (Housing Network of Rhode Island), Courtney Hawkins (Rhode Island Department of Human Services), Linda Katz (The Economic Progress Institute), and Nirva LaFortune (Providence City Council). This report highlights the far-reaching negative impacts of poverty on children and families, as well as extensive recommendations to address the issue. An increase in child poverty and widening racial and ethnic disparities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious concern. Please see the media release, full publication, and the release event video.

New Early Learning Fact Sheets

  • Funding Safe, Healthy, Quality Child Care provides data on children’s access to quality care and education in Rhode Island and the hourly funding levels for various ages of children across different public funding streams (Child Care Assistance Program, Head Start, RI Pre-K, K-12) and the median private tuition for licensed child care and early learning programs. Inadequate public funding levels, low staff education and compensation, and inconsistent monitoring and support for quality improvement are key barriers to improving access to quality child care. Challenges for child care programs operating during the COVID-19 pandemic are highlighted.
  • Access to High-Quality, Publicly-Funded Preschool provides data on the number of three-year-olds and four-year-olds in Rhode Island who were served in either Head Start or RI Pre-K. There are an estimated 7,454 four-year-olds (of which 2,645 were from low-income families) who were not enrolled in high-quality, publicly-funded preschool this year. The estimated number of unserved four-year-olds is provided for every city and town in the state.


Rhode Island KIDS COUNT stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT’s Board of Directors and staff stand in solidarity with the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement demanding acknowledgement and accountability for the devaluation and dehumanization of Black life at the hands of the police and society at-large. During times like this, we want to affirm the feelings the Black community is experiencing now. They are real. They are valid. We especially want to acknowledge the grief Black families are experiencing now and the fear they live with every day. Please read our full statement here.


Virtual Strolling Thunder RI and Child Care Day

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT facilitated Strolling Thunder RI in partnership with RIght From the Start. Although we can’t physically make it to the State House for our annual advocacy event, that couldn't stop our army of parents and cute kids from “virtually strolling” to push for policies and legislation to ensure that ALL Rhode Island kids, regardless of zip code, race, ethnicity, or family income, get off to the right start in life. 
  • Please see the activity on Twitter, the activity on Facebook, and amazing Facebook live Capitol TV broadcast
  • Click here to learn more about the RIght from the Start Campaign’s policy priorities.  
  • RIght from the Start is a campaign to advance policies for young children and their families in Rhode Island. RIght from the Start Steering Committee members include Beautiful Beginnings, Economic Progress Institute, Latino Policy Institute, Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health, Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, and Woonsocket Head Start Child Development Association.

Virtual Release: Updated Child Overweight and Obesity Policy Brief

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, in partnership with the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute and the Center for Health Data and Analysis at the Rhode Island Department of Health held a virtual dialogue on newly available child overweight and obesity data. At the event, we released our latest Policy Brief -- Childhood Overweight and Obesity: Updated Data for Rhode Island. For more information, please see the full publication, media release, and the virtual release event recording.


Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Releases 26th Annual Factbook Focusing on the Status of Rhode Island’s Children

The 2020 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook charts improvements and declines in the well-being of Rhode Island’s 203,908 children with a core focus on equity. The Factbook allows us to take stock of where Rhode Island effectively supports children’s development and where we need to focus increased attention and efforts. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is focused on the impact that COVID-19 is having and will have on Rhode Islanders, particularly our most vulnerable children and families. Exacerbating racial and ethnic and economic disparities as a result of this crisis is a serious concern.


The information presented in the 2020 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook can help our state and local leaders and policymakers make well-informed policy decisions that support the well-being of all children and families in Rhode Island during this current public health crisis and every day. For more information, please see the media release and executive summary.


A Message to Our Partners

Communities, families, parents, and students -- We see you! We see the weight that #Covid19 has placed on your shoulders. We ourselves are parents, children of older adults, and neighbors -- as well as Rhode Islanders. We are with you in this. And while we can’t make it go away, we want you to know that you’re not alone.


In light of the pandemic, many priorities and tasks have been shifted -- and necessarily so. Social distancing requires a level of flexibility and patience that can feel downright uncomfortable.


But it’s in our name -- Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. Kids count. Families count. Their communities count. Please rest assured that we are committed to the work ahead. Public health and safety is our first priority right now, and advocating for Rhode Island children and families is a core piece of this priority. All staff are available via email and we are very active on social media.


Let's Get Social While Social Distancing

“We know how perceptive children are and how naturally curious they are. Kids really feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe...What we're trying to do is share either educational or fun activities for families and kids to do to keep them occupied - and also we care about parents and families, too. We know that everybody's routine is disrupted," -- this excerpt from our chat with Barbara Morse summarizes our efforts on Facebook and Twitter! Please join the conversation on these platforms while we navigate COVID-19.

In The News

Study: R.I. has 11th highest childhood obesity rate in U.S.

R.I. Kids Count forum highlights areas of concern in Newport

WUN-ON-ONE: A conversation with Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Deputy Director Stephanie Geller

R.I. KIDS COUNT: 14% of R.I. children lived in poverty in 2019

Lagging Census; Treasurer Magaziner and R.I. Kids Count discuss what’s at risk

Take three

R.I. Kids Count: Pandemic likely to put more children in poverty

Ranking Rhode Island: Children’s health coverage

Mom struggling to find oral surgeon who will accept her insurance

HARI looks to improve maternal health for Black women across Rhode Island

Pandemic creating special challenges for many grandparents

‘There’s just so much work to do’ in Providence schools

Black moms matter

Seeing the whole kid through a lens of equity

Child abuse cases could be falling under the radar

What you should know about R.I.'s kids during the coronavirus crisis

Annual Factbook shows slight increase in child poverty, poverty gaps remain

Ideas to keep parents, children busy during coronavirus pandemic

More events canceled due to coronavirus

Education behind bars: How youth learn at the RI Training School

It’s time to rewrite R.I.’s parentage law, advocates say

Raimondo, early education advocates announce ‘RIght from the Start’ campaign

RIght from the Start campaign seeks to support families with young children

Early childhood advocates, elected leaders launch RIght from the Start campaign

R.I. Foundation committee says “stay the course” on education

Opportunity gap among children of different races in Providence among nation’s widest

Senate committee hears testimony on doula bill

House Labor bows to Senate, hears minimum wage bill with no path to $15

Elizabeth Burke Bryant talks state education funding on '10 News Conference'

Advocacy groups take the stage to promote 2020 priorities

The Factbook

The Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Factbook tracks the progress of 71 Indicators, across five areas of child well-being. View the 2020 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, safety, education, economic security, and development of Rhode Island’s children.


Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


Email Us

Email Us

Sign Up for E-newsletter