Starting Blocks: How California Fails Its KidsStarting Blocks: How California Fails Its Kids

California likes to think of itself as “the nation’s coming attractions” or “the place where tomorrow is invented.” No question the Golden State does generate ideas, policies and technology that quickly spread across the country. But at the same time, for all California’s wealth, intellectual capital and economic firepower, the state often fails at providing for the basic needs of its children.

In our new series Starting Blocks, KQED examines the ways public policy often fails California’s youngest residents and their families, especially those living at or below the poverty line.

We look at traditional issues like paid parental leave, subsidized child care and maternal health, but also issues like housing, criminal justice, immigration policy and even natural disasters to see how children are adversely affected, often in ways that are unexpected or unintended.

They May Be in Demand, But Child Care Workers Still Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Why is Creating More Child Care Centers So Hard?

One Woman's Endless Wait for State-Subsidized Child Care

Why It's Hard for Poor Pregnant Women and Moms to Get Health Care in Merced

Participation in California's Paid Family Leave Program is Growing, But Who's Benefiting?

With an Expanding UC Campus and More Jobs, Merced Is Booming. But That Growth Isn’t for Everyone

Without Affordable Child Care, Escaping Poverty Is Tough

Childhood Poverty: California's 'Moral Outrage'

California Kids Are Falling Behind in Education and More. What Is the State Doing to Help?

For Many Students in Salinas, Homelessness Has Become the Norm