According to a new report released by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, 24.9 percent of Arkansas children now live in poverty. According to the report:

Not only do these kids suffer financially, but their situation has lasting implications in a number of areas such as health, education and criminal activity. In essence, child poverty severely limits the potential of a child to grow into a successful, contributing adult, which in turn limits the growth of our state. And in our current economic recession, the problem is only getting worse.

But there are a few bright spots. Thanks to programs like ARKids First, only nine percent of Arkansas children are uninsured, compared to 21 percent about a decade ago. Also, early childhood education is available to thousands of kids who didn’t have that option just a few years ago.