Nebraska Fares Well in Annual Children's Report

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Nebraska has fared well in a new national study of children's education and economic well-being.

The Kids Count report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Nebraska 10th overall.

The annual study ranked Nebraska fifth this year for children's economic well-being, down from fourth place the previous year. The state placed ninth overall when it came to education, up from 17th place in 2013.

Nebraska ranked 24th in health and 20th in the family and community category.

"Pre recession we were at 15 percent of kids in Nebraska living in poverty. We've gone up to 18 percent of our Nebraska kids living in poverty. That's 81,000 kids living in Nebraska whose families are not making enough to take care of them and make ends meet every month," Voices for Children Research Coordinator Chrissy Tonkinson said.

Tonkinson says it's not a lack of people working. She says the jobs people have are not paying enough.

Results did show Nebraska is getting better in education and health related areas. For example, the number of low-birthweight babies and children without health insurance improved.

"We want kids who are getting into the doctor when they need to get to the doctor. Kids that are getting preventative care," Tonkinson said.

Tonkinson says economic well being is the biggest focus right now since all indicators worsened for Nebraska in that category.

One way Voices for Children will be taking action against the problem is working with the legislature and advocating for policies that will be good for kids.