Child and Youth Success

You are here

II.  Child and Youth Success Community Impact Area

Ensuring all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Our 4 Community Impact Areas are designed to deliver positive lasting change by bringing together a network of organizations, businesses and individuals to share resources and engage in results-driven Collective Impact Work.  

Strategies to ensure Child and Youth Success:

  • Early literacy; children entering kindergarten ready learn  Click to learn about Factors that contribute to third grade reading proficiency
  • Grade level reading by 3rd grade (a key measure of a child’s academic success, and a strong predictor of high school graduation)
    • Community Goal:  By 2022, 85% of all children entering Kindergarten in Bozeman School District 7 will have requisite literacy skills as measured by STAR early literacy.  (A score of 530 on the STAR assessment is a good predictor of success by 3rd grade.)
    • Community Goal:  By 2025, 90% of all Bozeman School District 7 3rd Grade Students will demonstrate grade level reading skills by achieving a proficient score on the STAR reading assessment at the end of the school year.
    • GGUW will begin working with other school districts to establish community goals around Grade Level Reading.
  • Access to quality affordable early child care, 0-5 years (Child care is considered affordable if it is less than 10% of total income.)
    • ECCC Goal:  Increase from 340 infant care slots from to 680 by 2020 in Gallatin County
    • ECCC Goal:  Increase from 1607 2 to 5-year old slots to 1767 by 2010 in Gallatin County
    • ECCC Goal:  Increase enrollment from 1,032 to 1,296 in Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program by 2020 in Gallatin County
  • Access to quality affordable out-of-school-time care / summer programming, 5+ years

Some facts...

  • In Gallatin County there are approximately 2,050 licensed child care slots which include approximately 340 licensed infant slots - wait lists for child care can be up to 2 years.
  • MT ranks 47th out of 50 states for Health.  Indicators include low-birth weight babies; children without health insurance; child and teen deaths, and; teens who abuse drugs or alcohol.
  • MT ranks 18th for Economic Well-Being.  Indicators include living in children in poverty, which is a family of 2 adults and 2 children with annual income below $24,036; children whose parents lack secure employment, and; children living in housing with high housing cost burden, which is more than 30% of monthly household pretax income is spent on housing-related expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, taxes and insurance.
  • MT ranks 18th for Education.  Indicators include young children, ages 3 to 4, not in school; 4th graders not proficient in reading; 8th graders not proficient in math, and; high school students not graduating on-time.
  • 37% of children entering kindergarten in Bozeman School District's 8 elementary schools are not ready to learn based on 2015-16 K Assessment.  
  • MT 14th for Family and Community.  Indicators include children in single parent families; children in families where head of household lacks high school diploma, and; children living in high-poverty areas, and teen births.
  • The average cost of child care for a four-year old is $7,900/year and $9,000/year for infant care.   In MT, child care is the largest expense for families with median incomes.
  • MT ranks 47th for children living apart from their parents (in foster care). There has been a 130% increase in foster care placements and 60% are due to drug and alcohol abuse/addiction.

We believe there is no problem that we can't solve together.  Join us to make change. 

Donate today to Greater Gallatin United Way.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. The Campaign focuses on the most important predictor of school success and high school graduation—grade-level reading by the end of third grade.

Factors that contribute to third grade reading proficiency:

School readiness

Research continues to show that fewer children from low-income families (less than half) are ready for school at kindergarten entry, compared to three-quarters of children from families with moderate or high incomes. For children from low-income families, preschool attendance is one of the strongest factors in school readiness; attending a high-quality early childhood program also predicts higher levels of achievement at age 11. A follow-up study of the Abecedarian Project found that by age 30, participants were four times more likely to obtain a college degree than nonparticipants. Entering school ready to learn can improve one’s chances of reaching middle-class status by age 40. And a study of the Child-Parent Center program found a long-term return to society of $8.24 for every dollar invested during the first four to six years of school, including prekindergarten.

School attendance

A report by Johns Hopkins University researchers suggested that the national rate of chronic absenteeism is 10 to 15 percent, meaning that 5 million to 7.5 million students miss at least 10 percent of their school days every year. The premise that schools fail to detect high levels of chronic absence because of data issues was confirmed by a study conducted jointly by the Child and Family Policy Center and Attendance Works. Other studies confirmed that chronic absence has a negative effect on students’ academic performance and cognitive development, especially for children from low-income families, and several new reports and evaluations measured the quality and effectiveness of chronic absence interventions.

Summer learning

Studies of summer learning programs in several different contexts all confirmed that high-quality summer programs can disrupt learning loss. Research on children from low-income families also offered new evidence that having access to books can ameliorate the summer learning slide and significantly improve scores on state reading assessments; the largest effects were for the most economically disadvantaged children.

Family support

Research published right before Early Warning helped explain how environmental factors like hunger, housing insecurity, parental depression and abuse influence the epigenome (the human “operating system”), making it more likely that specific genes will or will not be expressed. Other new research draws a link between the stress of poverty, hormonal changes and impaired learning ability. However, new research reveals that even after the epigenome has been modified by extreme childhood stress, the damage may be reversed. Furthermore, positive social-emotional experiences for young children, along with supportive family and community environments, reduce the likelihood of negative modifications to the epigenome that might impair learning.

Early Warning Signs - Full Article