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Posted: Tuesday, 17 June 2014 10:30AM

Report: Too Many MI Babies Don't Get The Right Start



Planning for a better future for Michigan means investing in the state's kids before they're even born, according to a new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy, which looks at maternal and infant well-being. Jane Zehnder-Merrell is the Kids Count director and says babies born in Michigan's "legacy cities," 15 former industrial powerhouses that took the brunt of the economic decline, are much worse off than those born in out-country areas.

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She says adding more income into families improves the outcome for kids. To reverse this trend, the report recommends the state fully fund its Infant Mortality Reduction plan, strengthen child care, education, and training opportunities and commit to an anti-smoking campaign. Zehnder-Merrell says while Michigan has made a sizable investment in early childhood education, there is still need when it comes to breaking the cycle.

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Roughly one quarter of all newborns in the state were born to women living in these cities, according to the analysis. The full report, "Right Start 2014," is available on the Michigan League for Public Policy's website.


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