Colorado sees child poverty rate decline for second consecutive year; a first for more than a decade

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A new Kids Count report from the Colorado Children’s Campaign shows child poverty rates for the state are on the decline.

For the second year in a row, child poverty rates have decreased across the state; a first for Colorado in more than a decade

Experts say it’s thanks to more parents being employed.

“Colorado has been seeing an unemployment rate decline faster than many other places in the country since the end of the recession,” said Sarah Hughes, research director at the Colorado Children’s Campaign.

But experts say 15 percent of kids are still living in poverty. This means just under 200,000 kids living in families struggling to make ends meet.

The number of Colorado children living in poverty dropped from 17 percent in 2013 to 15 percent in 2014.

While the poverty rate has decreased for the second year in a row, many children are still living in poverty. And officials say we can’t lose sight of the end goal: end child poverty.

“We still see that about one in four kids in Colorado is living in family where no parent has full-time, year-round employment,” Hughes said.

Experts say without affordable childcare, it can be challenging to find a job. But without a steady income to bring families above the poverty line, they won’t be able to afford childcare.

“When families are living in poverty, often times kids don’t have access to the healthy foods that they need. They might be living in an unsafe neighborhood where they’re not able to go outside and play or be active. We often see health problems among kids who are living in poverty,” Hughes said.

Experts say poverty is a problem that affects every aspect of a child’s life and needs to be addressed properly.

The Colorado Children’s Campaign says more needs to be done to help children in poverty, such as working as a state to provide more economic opportunities for families, so that they can afford childcare.

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