Rhode Island KIDS COUNT  Policy Briefs

  • Children's Mental Health in Rhode Island - October 2022
    Mental health in childhood and adolescence is defined as reaching expected developmental, cognitive, social, and emotional milestones and the ability to use effective coping skills. Mental health influences children’s physical health as well as their behavior at home, in school, and in the community. Mental health conditions can impair daily functioning, prevent or affect academic achievement, increase involvement with the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, result in high treatment costs, diminish family incomes, and increase the risk for suicide. This publication discusses the data and research about children's mental health, and offers recommendations for improving the behavioral care system and supporting families.
  • Childhood Overweight and Obesity - August 2022
    Updated Data for Rhode Island and Trends in Rhode Island
    These Policy Briefs present updated data from 2020 collected and analyzed from 2020 to 2022 and provide the first data showing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood overweight and obesity. 
  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Children’s Economic Well-Being in Rhode Island - December 2021
    This new report includes disaggregated data by race and ethnicity on key indicators of child and family well-being including unemployment rates, family income, poverty, wealth, homeownership, and postsecondary education. The report suggests solutions and actions Rhode Island can take to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities and promote equitable, racially aware, and community-driven policies. 
  • Housing Instability and Homelessness Among Rhode Island Children - November 2021
  • Childhood Overweight and Obesity - June 2021
    Updated Data for Rhode Island presents updated data from 2019
    Trends in Rhode Island presents data from 2016-2019
  • Childhood Overweight and Obesity: Updated Data for Rhode Island - May 2020
  • Access to School Breakfast: A Key Strategy for Improving Children’s Health, Education, and Well-Being - May 2019
    Hunger and lack of regular access to food are linked to serious physical, psychological, emotional, and academic problems in children and can interfere with their growth and development. School Breakfast is an effective way to fill these nutritional gaps. Implementing key strategies such as the Community Eligibility Program, Universal School Breakfast, and “Breakfast After the Bell” can increase participation.
  • Childhood Overweight and Obesity: New Data for Rhode Island - March 2019. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Center for Health Data and Analysis, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, the State Innovation Model, and three health insurance plans – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, UnitedHealthcare, and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island collaborated on a project to collect the most accurate childhood overweight and obesity data at the state and city/town level that could also be analyzed by race/ethnicity, age, gender, and insurance status. This is the first clinical/claims-based statewide data set of childhood overweight and obesity in Rhode Island. 
  • A Snapshot of Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs in Rhode Island - March 2017
    While no single factor is driving the increased prevalence of obesity in the United States, increasing physical activity is one strategy that can be taken along with others to help prevent and reduce the burden of child and adolescent obesity. However, too few children and youth are physically active for the recommended 60 minutes per day. A Snapshot of Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs in Rhode Island reports on Rhode Island school personnel experience with the various components of comprehensive school physical activity programs, and provides recommendations for increasing physical activity in Rhode Island schools.
  • Promoting Increased Physical Activity in Schools - April 2016
    Regular physical activity has been shown to improve strength and endurance, help control weight, and prevent chronic disease. It has also been shown to improve academic achievement, including grades and standardized test scores. Research also shows positive effects on the brain, including improved attention, processing, memory, and coping. Promoting Increased Physical Activity in Schools provides an overview of current practices and policies regarding physical activity in Rhode Island schools (including recess and physical education), and includes recommendations for promoting increased physical activity in schools.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Special Publications

In addition to the annual Factbook, the Fact Sheet series, Issue Brief series, our Presentations, and Data Tools, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT publishes other periodic publications on the well-being of Rhode Island children and families.  

  • Policies and Practices Supporting Student-Centered Learning in Rhode Island: School Climate - September 2020
  • Improving the Compensation of Effective Infant/Toddler Educators in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children collaborated on Improving the Compensation of Effective Infant/Toddler Educators in Rhode Island, developed by a state task force that reviewed current data, researched national best practices, and developed a set of recommended strategies to improve the compensation of infant/toddler educators who work in child care, family home visiting, and Early Intervention programs. Read the Final Task Force Summary here. The early childhood professionals who provide the day-to-day services for infants and toddlers are supporting the development of healthy brain architecture upon which all future learning and development is built. Yet wages for infant/toddler educators remain well below the wages of kindergarten teachers and below the levels needed to meet the basic needs of individuals and families. The Task Force received support from ZERO TO THREE’s Think Babies Campaign and the Moving the Needle on Compensation initiative led by the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center.
  • Childhood Overweight and Obesity: New Data for Rhode Island - March 2019
  • Preparing Students for College and Career: Rhode Island Business Leader Perspectives - October 2018
  • Preparing Students for College and Career: Rhode Island Higher Education Leader Perspectives, October 2018
  • Policies Supporting Student-Centered Learning in Rhode Island - September 2018
  • Focus on Integrated Early Care and Education Data, 2018
    This report provides an overview of a demonstration project conducted by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT that sought to use integrated data from early care and education programs to look at a population of children with high needs (young children who were maltreated in 2015) and their participation in high-quality early learning programs.
  • Engaging Students in Their Own Learning: Rhode Island Youth Perspectives
    (Rhode Island KIDS COUNT in partnership with Young Voices) All information provided in Rhode Island Youth Perspectives is based on the results of six focus groups and represents the views of 56 students at seven public high schools in Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Providence, Rhode Island. The report provides youth perspectives on what teaching and learning looks like in schools currently, what experiences students have had with more student centered approaches to learning, and how schools could better engage students in their own learning and prepare them for success in college and careers.
  • Rhode Island Children and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), February 2017 For many years, our state and federal leaders have made a big investment in keeping kids healthy by increasing their access to health care coverage. Building on the success of RIte Care (Rhode Island’s Medicaid and CHIP Program), the Affordable Care Act (ACA) further helped children gain access to high-quality, affordable, comprehensive health and dental coverage. Please click here for a list of 16 items that are part of the ACA that directly benefit Rhode Island children. Please click here for the publication in Spanish.
  • Next Steps for Rhode Island's Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families, 2015
    Next Steps is a set of recommended policy priorities for Rhode Island infants, toddlers, and their families. Developed under the leadership of a public-private steering committee using input from more than 200 early childhood experts from across the state and technical assistance from Zero to Three, Next Steps has been endorsed by a variety of statewide planning groups, including the Rhode Island Early Learning Council and Successful Start.  The four policy focus areas are: Economic Security, Mental Health & Well-Being, Parenting & Family Support, and High-Quality Early Learning & Development Programs.
  • Help for Working and Unemployed Families Resource Sheet, May 2015
    Many working and unemployed families in Rhode Island are eligible for services and benefits to help support their families. Programs such as health insurance (RIte Care), child care subsidies, tax credits (EITC), nutrition assistance (SNAP and WIC) and cash assistance (RI Works) are available to families with low or moderate incomes. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT has published this resource in English  and Spanish to help working and unemployed Rhode Island families access these services and benefits. If you would like to order copies of these publications, please email to request them.
  • RIte Care Results
    RIte Care is Rhode Island’s Medicaid/CHIP managed care program for children, parents and pregnant women. RIte Care offers quality, affordable health coverage to low-income and working Rhode Island families. Eligibility is based on household income and size. There are no monthly premiums for RIte Care coverage. Learn more about the RIte Care and how it is positively impacting the health of Rhode Island children and families through the following publications:

    RIte Care ResultsNovember 2014
    RIte Care ResultsNovember 2013
    RIte Care ResultsNovember 2012
  • Rhode Island's Maternal and Child Home Visiting System Program Report, 2013
    Rhode Island’s maternal and child home visiting system offers a variety of programs to families with young children across the state. Federal evidence-based Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) programs are designed to improve the health and development of children and families that are facing multiple challenges to success, including: poverty, teenage parenting, families with prior involvement in the child welfare system, and families struggling with chronic health and mental health issues.
  • Improving College Access and Success: Providence Youth Perspectives, October 2012
    This special report summarizes the results of a series of focus groups conducted with Providence high school students to determine how schools and community agencies can best help students with the college application process.

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


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