Economy, health, and family stability all play key roles in a child’s healthy development.
The Risk and Reach project is the first attempt in Minnesota to describe indicators of early childhood development county by county. It reviews 12 risk measures in areas related to economy, health, and family stability. The project also identifies the reach in each county of eight publicly-funded programs serving the early learning, health, and basic needs of young children. Learn more about the project.
Every county is assigned to one of four risk categories for each risk measure (low, low-to-moderate, moderate-to-high, or high), and is given a composite risk score based on an average score across all measures. Every county also is assigned a reach category (low, low-to-moderate, moderate-to-high, high) for each program based on the proportion of children receiving that service. The reach of services is overlayed on a map of Minnesota showing each county’s composite risk score, allowing comparison of the need for services with their availability. Learn more about methodology.
No single risk factor determines a child's developmental trajectory. Rather, cumulative risk has been found to be the most predictive of adverse outcomes in childhood and across the lifespan. There is no threshold at which intervention is futile. The study found: