New Resource Highlights State Policies and Progress Focused on Infants & Toddlers
On October 13, thousands of policymakers, scholars, and practitioners across the nation joined the National Prenatal-to-3 Research to Policy Summit. At the summit, the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center unveiled the 2022 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap, which provides guidance to state leaders on the most effective investments states can make to ensure all infants and toddlers have the opportunity to thrive from the start and that their families are supported.
The period from prenatal development through the age of three is critical in terms of brain and social development, which sets the foundation for future learning, behavior, and health. It is critical to ensure that all children are born healthy and raised in safe, nurturing environments. Unfortunately, not all children have the opportunities they deserve, and systemic differences exist based on children’s race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and location. However, state policy choices can support this critical period of growth by creating comprehensive prenatal-to-three systems of care that empower parents and give children the best start.
With a focus on rigorous reviews of scientific evidence, the 2022 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap outlines five policies and six strategies state leaders can implement to create more equitable outcomes for infants, toddlers, and their caregivers.
1. Expanded Income Eligibility for Health Insurance
2. Reduced Administrative Burden for SNAP
3. Paid Family Leave
4. State Minimum Wage
5. State Earned Income Tax Credit
1. Comprehensive Screening and Connection Programs
2. Child Care Subsidies
3. Group Prenatal Care
4. Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs
5. Early Head Start
6. Early Intervention Services
The 2022 roadmap focuses on the progress states have made over the past year in adopting and fully implementing each policy and strategy. A state is considered to have fully implemented a policy if eligible families are able to receive a benefit at a level sufficient to impact prenatal-to-three outcomes.
- Six states have adopted and fully implemented all five proposed policies. This year Connecticut and Washington joined California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey in full implementation.
- Ten states have fully implemented four out of the five policies; however, generosity and reach vary considerably.
- Six states have not fully implemented any of the effective policies (Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Wyoming).
- Since last year, an additional eight states have fully implemented at least one of the five Roadmap policies, and Virginia newly implemented two.
Many states invested in evidence-based strategies through legislative or administrative action this year. Click here to find the policy profile of your state and to learn more about progress made this year as well as how the state can better support the healthy development of infants and toddlers. The 2022 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap is in its third year (the 2021 Roadmap can be found here). The Prenatal-to-3 Impact Center will continue to update this Roadmap annually to measure states’ progress and improvements in the well-being of infants, toddlers, and their families.
Find the full list of speakers and panelists here.