The nonprofit early development organization ZERO TO THREE recently released updated State Baby Facts factsheets about the status of infants, toddlers, and families across the country. Early literacy is just one piece of the early childhood education and development picture, so these factsheets are useful tools to help libraries and other early literacy organizations to understand current poverty, health, and early learning data and how their states compare nationally.
Here are some highlights from Colorado’s factsheet:
- More than 1 in 4 (21%) Colorado infants and toddlers live at less than 100% of the federal poverty level.
- One in 10 babies is born preterm, and 9% of babies have low birth weight in Colorado.
- More than a quarter (27%) of Colorado children younger than 3 experience residential mobility (e.g., multiple moves).
- Coloradans are doing better than the national averages for several early learning activities (perhaps libraries have a role to play in that?):
- Well over half (57%) of parents or family members read to their 0-5-year-old each day.
- More than 3 in 5 (63%) parents or family members tell stories and sing to their 0-5-year-old each day.
- At the same time, the cost of infant childcare for Colorado single mothers is nearly half (48%) of their income.
Looking for practical tips to make your library more supportive of families with young children? Check out the research-tested SPELL Blueprint model which outlines activities and recommendations from the Supporting Parents in Early Literacy Through Libraries (SPELL) project.
Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.