When children get more resources, they do better. But across the US, there exists enormous variation in public investments made in children – and as a result, enormous variation in child outcomes across states and regions. Which states consistently rank high on measures of child well-being, and why? Which states have made the most gains over the past decade? And what policy measures are most closely linked to changes in child well-being?

First Focus, in conjunction with Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) and the Foundation for Child Development, hosted a discussion on the various factors that influence state decisions on children and how placing a priority on child well-being at the state level can improve the outlook for children nationwide. The event featured a new Foundation for Child Development report: Investing in Public Programs Matters: How State Policies Impact Children’s Lives.

MODERATOR: Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus

PANELISTS:William O’Hare, Annie E. Casey Foundation • Tom Gais, Rockefeller Institute • Chris Watney, Colorado Children’s Campaign • David Sciarra, Education Law Center