December 21, 2023

2023 Child Well-Being Index

This post was last updated on January 11, 2023, to include a "download tables" button.

Florida’s future depends on the health and well-being of all children 

The policy choices we make today should lay the foundation for children to become thriving adults who will join the workforce and contribute to their communities. Smart investments will help cultivate strong families who — in turn — will raise strong, healthy children. To guide these policy choices, we need timely, relevant data that document the challenges and successes facing Florida’s children and families. That’s the impetus behind the Florida 2023 Child Well-Being Index. This year, we want to highlight the disproportionate share of income that families spend on child care, which accounts for nearly one-quarter of a low-wage family's earnings in the costliest county.  

This index also includes data on child care costs in each county. Specifically, it shows the average cost and share of household income for child care costs for households comprised of two full time working adults making minimum wage and one child.

These rankings were developed using KIDS COUNT® data to show where more investments can be made. The outcomes in communities are not accidental. Counties with higher rankings tend to be well-resourced places, where families can afford to invest in things like high-quality child care, education, and other opportunities for their children. Counties that rank near the middle tend to have a mixture of well-resourced and less well-resourced areas, such as some larger counties with a combination of big cities and suburban and rural areas. Counties with lower rankings tend to be places that have borne the brunt of the state’s disinvestment in public services and where people face historic barriers to economic opportunity.  

All communities can access shared prosperity when we make wise investments in children and families and have policies in place that close opportunity gaps. As laid out in FPI’s Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, data-driven policymaking and investments in the following areas can help to move the needle for Florida’s kids:  

  • prioritizing child well-being and quality of life by preserving and expanding basic household supports like nutrition, housing, and income assistance.  
  • nurturing children by investing in affordable, quality early learning, thriving public schools, and well supported teachers. 
  • building a stronger workforce by expanding access to higher education and job training.  
  • ensuring all Floridians have access to affordable, quality health care.  

Though Florida has made investments in early education, accessing quality care for young children remains out of reach for many parents. This causes tremendous hardship and economic instability for families across the state. Child care is among the largest household expenses, costing nearly $9,000 on average per child in Florida and rivaling the cost of housing.

Downloadable Resources

There are no attachments currently.
No items found.