At the peak of economic boom times in 2000, the U.S. child-poverty rate reached a historic low of 16.2 percent. Even then, UNICEF ranked the United States as having the second highest child-poverty rate out of 26 rich countries. The United States had a child-poverty rate twice Germany’s, five times Sweden’s, and nearly ten times Denmark’s. The only country scoring worse than the United States was Mexico.
Life for Griselda Almanza is not easy. She is a single mother in Oakland, California, with two young children. This year Almanza's life became much harder because budget cuts shut down the child-care program her sons attended while she worked as a house cleaner. Almanza thinks that she will have to quit her job. Many children of immigrants like Almanza's sons are losing a valuable opportunity to learn English and other subjects because of closing child-care centers.