Hawaii Children's Action Network

WHO WE ARE

Hawaii Children’s Action Network (HCAN) is the only nonprofit in the state solely committed to advocating for children in early childhood.  We believe every child deserves a fighting chance to realize their full potential and focus our work on advancing public policy that impacts the systems that serve children from birth to age 8 (early childhood).

WHY WE EXIST

We are focused on the early childhood years, when 90% of physical brain development occurs, and children develop crucial cognitive and social-emotional skills that impact the rest of their lives and can predict their success.  Research shows that children with strong early development environments such as access to early learning and a safe and stable home environment thrive as adults.  Unfortunately, disadvantaged children are the least likely to live in those environments.  The current state of Hawaii’s children:

  • 49% of young children NOT in school
  • 71% of 4th graders NOT proficient in reading
  • 70% of 8th graders NOT proficient in math
  • 15% live in poverty
  • 41% of children living in households with a high housing cost burden
  • 32% live in single-parent households

Once a child that has fallen behind in reading or math, she/he is more likely to drop out of high school, work in low-wage jobs and continue a cycle of poverty.

OUR WORK

We work to address the root causes of poverty and inequity.  Our current priorities are:

  • affordable childcare for all children;
  • universal pre-school;
  • paid family leave;
  • comprehensive developmental screenings for all children; and
  • quality early intervention services.