Announces New Focus on Early Childhood Development
Harris County, Texas – November 15, 2019 – Today, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo joined business leaders, residents, and community leaders from across the region to deliver the first State of the County address of her term. During her remarks to about 900 attendees, Judge Hidalgo outlined key areas of progress in fostering a safer, healthier, and more equitable Harris County and announced a new initiative that will focus on improving early childhood development.
“The state of our county is strong,” said Judge Hidalgo. “But being strong is about much more than having a low unemployment rate or a strong bond rating. It’s about making sure that all of our residents enjoy equal access to the great opportunities available to them in Harris County. Over the past year we’ve made county government more transparent, made strides to reform our criminal justice system, and have begun to make up for lost time when it comes to investing in our flood control infrastructure. But there is much more to do, and we look forward to another year of ambitious, meaningful initiatives, including a focus on what we can do to improve early childhood development and education.”
Drawing from the “Talking Transition” initiative, Judge Hidalgo will kick off a community engagement series next year as the first step towards a larger goal of a meaningful early childhood development initiative in Harris County. Programs that focus on early childhood development have one of the strongest returns on investment for any type of public program. Children who benefit from initiatives like subsidized childcare and early education tend to have higher high school graduation rates, fewer arrests, lower rates of substance use, and higher rates of employment as adults.
During her remarks, Judge Hidalgo also provided updates on key priorities since her swearing in. Some key areas of progress include: