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California Essentials for Childhood Initiative (CA)

The California Essentials for Childhood Initiative uses a public health and collective impact approach to align and enhance collaborative efforts to promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children, youth and families through systems, policy and social norms change.

Our View: Minimum-wage hike eases child poverty []


It takes a lifetime to fix the damage done by childhood poverty.

Children are stressed by not having enough to eat or not knowing where they are going to sleep, leaving them unprepared to learn in school and to get a good start in life. Such adverse childhood experiences, common in poor households, are associated with later substance use disorders and other chronic diseases, as well as lower earnings and early death.

A government policy that moved families out of poverty would spare children from these sad outcomes. Fortunately, Maine has such a program.

According to an analysis by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, roughly 87,000 Mainers received a $1-an-hour raise Jan. 1 as the minimum wage rose to $11 per hour. Over the course of the year, thousands more who earn near the minimum will see their wages pushed up. A $1 increase last year resulted in relieving 10,000 Maine children from a life of poverty by putting more money in their households. It was the largest decrease in child poverty seen in at least a decade.

That’s great news, not just for those children’s immediate well-being, but for the rest of their lives as well.


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