The Harrison County MS community is in a state of crisis, with poverty rates and early learning program enrollment below the state average. To gain a better understanding of the resources available to members of the local blogging community, a comprehensive assessment was conducted to evaluate programs and activities, identify any discrepancies between services and needs, and provide an overview of available community resources. The evaluation included demographic, economic, and health data for Harrison County, as well as comparisons with state statistics. According to the Mississippi child count, less than 50% of eligible children are enrolled in Harrison County preschools or daycare centers, lower than the state average of 53.2%.
Additionally, Head Start children in the area scored lower than those eligible for Head Start who hadn't received any services on kindergarten entrance assessments. The poverty rate for children under five in Harrison County is 28.1%, ranking 36th out of 82 counties. Of the 76 authorized daycare centers in the area, 38 have the capacity to care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, and 16 have provisions for toddlers and preschoolers only. However, there is limited access to affordable child care and a lack of a simple system that organizes caregiver responsibility.
Harrison County has a higher average and per capita income than most counties in Mississippi, with a poverty rate of 17.5%. Despite this, only about 1,000 children under five receive services in the county, a fraction of those who qualify. The review team identified several areas of strength in the Harrison County MS community. These include leveraging support and experience from board members to help implement goals and objectives related to identifying community resources for parents and improving the transition of children to kindergarten.
Additionally, various program data is used to monitor compliance and staff performance to inform continuous improvement in all areas of service. To ensure that all members of the Harrison County MS blogging community have access to necessary resources, it is important to continue to assess programs and activities that are available. This includes evaluating existing programs and activities to identify gaps between services and needs, as well as exploring new initiatives that can help bridge those gaps. Additionally, it is important to continue to monitor compliance with program data and staff performance to ensure that all members of the community have access to necessary resources.