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Could Geographic Location Affect Your Child's Well-Being? (page 2)

Could Geographic Location Affect Your Child

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Updated on Apr 3, 2008

Regardless of the reasons, Brazelton says we need to find a way to get these services where they're needed, and quick. “We need to start with families early, and support them at each stage of their child's development,” he says. “By age 3 we can promise that these kids will have self-esteem, they'll feel like they matter, and when that happens they'll learn anything we want them to.”

Beyond the moral implications, the report argues that there are many reasons why these results should be seen as a wake-up call to all Americans, rich and poor, insured and uninsured, Vermonter and Louisianan alike. “Global competitiveness, erasing historical inequalities, and better care for an aging population will be the principal benefits from closing the gap,” the report says.

What can be done about it? The report concludes that closing the disparities among the states is achievable, but it's going to take a lot more than what volunteers alone can provide. It's going to take targeted investment strategies and the collaboration of state and federal lawmakers. “The pie is not big enough to address the needs of children,” Petit says, citing the exorbitant military budget that tax-payers fund each year.

But, says Petit, the first step, and the impetus behind this report, is to make Americans acutely aware of the sad fact that in this country, your chances at life and your zip code could go hand in hand.

To see how your state ranks, go to www.everychildmatters.org.

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