CHARLESTON, West Virginia — A report says one-third of West Virginia schoolchildren under age 6 live in poor households and are at risk of falling significantly behind their classmates' achievements.
The West Virginia KIDS COUNT's annual report on children's wellbeing says the vocabularies of children as young as 18 months from low-income families are already several months behind their peers, and that continues throughout their educations.
The report released Tuesday says there's a 24 percent reading proficiency gap between low-income fourth-graders and their wealthier classmates, and a 23 gap in math proficiency for low-income eighth-graders.
The report suggests continued investments in high-quality child care can help close the achievement gap.
Overall, the report ranked West Virginia 37th in the nation for child wellbeing. That's unchanged from a year ago.