BLOG: New Snapshot Highlights Pandemic’s Effects on Newark’s Kids, Families

Posted on May 5, 2021

Alana Vega, Kids Count Coordinator

Every year, ACNJ releases its Newark Kids Count report in order to share information about the well-being of children living within the city. This year, Newark Kids Count looks a bit different. Rather than a comprehensive data report, ACNJ will be releasing smaller “snapshots,” featuring data showing the impact of the pandemic on children and families.  

This year’s data snapshots are an attempt at providing the data we can currently obtain in order to provide some insight for stakeholders in Newark. The first, The Impact of COVID-19: A Look at the Utilization of Programs Assisting Families, looks at programs assisting families, as well as unemployment rates.  

The second, due to be released in June, will look at data relating to Newark’s high school senior classes of 2019 and 2020 as they transitioned to college. These data will cover trends in college enrollment and other areas, and the report’s release will highlight young people’s experiences over the last year. 

Traditional Kids Count reports rely on publicly available data from federal, state and local sources, and the most current data from many of these sources are still pre-pandemic figures.  The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey is only available up to 2019, and figures for 2020 will not be released until this fall. In other cases, data are simply unavailable. In the N.J Department of Education’s 2019-20 School Performance reports, data for state assessments and chronic absenteeism, among others, are not being reported due to the pandemic. 

It is likely that it will be several years before we have enough data to truly provide a complete picture of the pandemic’s impact. In the meantime, experimental data products such as the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, provide some glimpse into the experiences of residents across the country. Data from this survey focused on households with children are available on the KIDS COUNT Data Center. However, these data are limited and are not available for smaller, more specific geographies like Newark. This is a gap ACNJ hopes to fill through our data snapshots in order to ensure more informed decisions can be made in order to help families navigate through the pandemic.


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Have you checked out our Kids Count data dashboard lately?

ACNJ continues to update its Kids Count Data Dashboard on a quarterly basis, in order to provide current information to our audience. Additionally, some data sets are broken down by race, allowing us to gather a more complete view of trends impacting children. View the most current information on children, and stay tuned for our June 2021 update for data covering: children involved with child protective services, lead testing, birth outcomes and school enrollment.