Research Spotlight

The Early Childhood Workforce Index 2016

Our nation relies on the knowledge and skills of early educators to provide high-quality early care and education. Yet preparing, supporting and rewarding early educators in the USA remains ineffective, inefficient, and inequitable. The case for changing this status quo is incontrovertible. Read the Report

Expert Spotlight

Adults Under Stress Can Undermine Children’s Learning, a Study Finds

While scientist have long established that the crucial first years of life provide the foundation on which learning and life-long progress for children originates, the quality of life struggles for a large number of child care workers, and the impact these struggles have on children’s learning environments, is going unnoticed and not being addressed.
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  Top News

Adults, Agencies Failed Alyssa Beck

Growing up in Jacksonville, Alyssa Beck was a victim of human trafficking. Now 21, she courageously speaks about her victimization and how much of what she experienced could have been prevented had the government seen her as a victim, instead of as a criminal. With the Florida’s Safe Harbor Law now in place and VFF’s own Open Doors Network starting next year, the chances of another Alyssa Beck are shrinking as victims are being connected with the services they truly need and are being seen as the victims they really are. Read More

Just 21, Human-Trafficking Survivor Alyssa Beck has Lived a Life Most Cannot Imagine

Before she was 15, Alyssa Beck was a victim of human trafficking, and before she was 21, she had spent nearly three years in jail. In this article, Alyssa’s history with trafficking, the Juvenile Justice system and treatment is examined in-depth, as is her recovery and growth into the strong advocate for victims of human trafficking she is today. Read More

   US Concentrated Poverty in the Wake of the Great Recession

Smiley face In spite of the declining unemployment rate, the amount of people living under the federal poverty line in the United States continues to remain stuck at recession-era record levels even though the recession ended in 2009. Read the Report

   See the Change: Girls’ Juvenile Justice Trends on the First Coast

A new report demonstrates progress for girls in the 4th Judicial Circuit, which used to be considered the harshest district in Florida. Read the Report

   Breaking New Ground on the First Coast: Examining Girls’ Pathways into the Juvenile Justice System

Learn research-based findings of what girls in Florida’s Juvenile Justice system say about their pathways in the system. Read the Report

   Philanthropy + Venture Capital = A Much Needed Investment Model

In his article, “Saving the World, Start-up Style,” Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR’s “Planet Money,” proposes that a combination of philanthropy and the venture-capital philosophy of embracing risk, could have significant impact on the poor. This new method of investing could be a welcomed relief for the more than 950,000 or 24% of Florida children living in poverty. Read More

   How America is Failing its Youth

A new report by Opportunity Nation, Zeroing In on Place and Race, states that the economic toll of disconnected youth reveals an astonishingly high cost to America’s taxpayers of $26.8 billion in 2013 alone. Approximately one fifth of youth in Florida are neither working nor in school. Read More

   Poll Shows American Women Leaving the Workforce

As recently as 1990, the United States had one of the top employment rates in the world for women, but it has now fallen behind many European countries, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Family Foundation poll. After climbing for six decades, the percentage of women in the American workforce peaked in 1999, at 74 percent for women between 25 and 54. It has fallen since, to 69 percent today. The percentage of working women in many other countries, however, has continued to climb. Among the countries outranking the United States in prime-age women’s labor force are Switzerland, Australia, Germany France, Britain, Canada, Poland, Portugal, Japan — just to name a few. Read More


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