If we want to reduce poverty, we need to focus our energies on changing the trajectory for young children - and break the cycle so that they don’t become trapped in poverty for life, and in turn, raise children in poverty.
So what should we as a society do to bring about change?
1.) Early childhood education can break the cycle of poverty
Studies have demonstrated that children from low-income families who attend full-time, high-quality educational programs from infancy through age 5, have higher cognitive test scores than their peers who don’t have access to that education, are more likely to graduate from high school and college, hold a job, have higher earnings, and stay away from crime. This is why the first five years are so important to breaking the cycle of poverty.
2.) Support parents with a dual-generation approach
In addition to providing educational opportunities to children at an early age, it is essential to support parents in transforming their family situation. In what is called a “dual-generation” approach, high-quality early childhood education is combined with services to parents. Coordinated by case managers, services include case management support and goal setting, connecting parents to services for employment, financial resources, parenting resources, and other services that positively impact their overall stability and economic mobility.
Head Start - Services in 38 classrooms at six locations across Baltimore City, serving 728 low-income children and their parents each year
Early Headstart - Services to 58 children ages 0 to 3 and their parents.
Camp Discovery - Summer camp for enrolled Head Start students to help curb summer learning loss and be ready for kindergarten.
Camp St. Vincent - Summer camp dedicated to exclusively serving over 200 homeless children each summer from Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Founded in 1907 and located at Patterson Park in Baltimore City, Camp St. Vincent specifically designed to reduce the impact of homelessness on academic, social, and emotional development.