Early Experiences Matter

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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Public Policy

The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center is a nonpartisan, research-based resource for federal and state policymakers and advocates on the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. The Policy Center brings to bear ZERO TO THREE’s more than 30 years of research-based expertise on infant and toddler development to ensure that public policies reflect best practices and current research in support of our nation’s very young children.

Our agenda is simple: The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center promotes good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences for all infants and toddlers, with special emphasis on those who are the most vulnerable and in need. The Policy Center advances public policy solutions and investments for the health and development of very young children and their families. In doing so, the Policy Center synthesizes and disseminates knowledge, cultivates advocacy leadership, and engages policymakers.

NEWLY UPDATED! 2015 State Baby Facts: The 2015 factsheets for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia provide information for early childhood professionals and policymakers about the status of infants, toddlers, and families in their state. The State Baby Facts present infant and toddler data in the framework of good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. View Resource

What's New - New Resources From ZERO TO THREE Policy Center

Poverty's Effect on Infants and Toddlers (Infographic)

What effect does poverty have on the developing brains of babies and toddlers? ZERO TO THREE's new infographic shows how young children in poverty, beginning at birth, begin to develop gaps in their growth and development when compared with their peers. Nearly half of America's babies live in or near poverty—this is a clear warning sign for America's global competitiveness. Investing in support for parents in nurturing children and positive early learning opportunities can help.

Infants and Toddlers in the Policy Picture: A Self-Assessment Toolkit for States

This toolkit is intended to help state policy leaders and advocates assess the current status of services for infants, toddlers, and their families and to set priorities for improvement. The toolkit is divided into sections focused on four goals of a state early childhood system: good health, strong families, positive early learning experiences, and collaboration and system building. A user-friendly format allows users to easily access state information from national sources, assess how your state compares to other states, and gather stakeholder input.

Preventing Expulsion From Preschool and Child Care

Young children are being expelled from preschool and child care programs at an astonishing rate, often because of challenging behaviors such as aggression, tantrums, and noncompliance. This practice deprives young children of the benefit of early childhood education and may leave unaddressed the mental health issues that lead to challenging behaviors.

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: Promotion, Prevention, and Treatment

ZERO TO THREE’s three-part blog series exploring the mental health needs of very young children. This blog series was originally published in the Huffington Post.

Infant and Toddler Messaging Guide

Infant and Toddler Messaging Guide

This paper by Advocacy & Communication Solutions, LLC with ZERO TO THREE shares the results of a national scan of message trends in infant and toddler advocacy. It provides examples of messages used across the country to describe a wide range of infant and toddler issues and makes suggestions for improvement. The paper offers guidance on how to develop effective messages that make a strong case for investment in infants and toddlers.

A Place to Get Started

A Place to Get Started: Innovation in State Infant and Toddler Policies

As public awareness of the importance of the earliest years grows, states are considering many possible ways to improve and better coordinate services for infants and toddlers and their families. This policy brief developed by the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center describes eight strategies that policymakers can consider as they determine how to get started, including examples of states currently implementing each of the strategies.

ZERO TO THREE's Road Map to Reach America’s Potential

Closing the Opportunity Gap for Babies and Families: ZERO TO THREE's Road Map to Reach America's Potential

Closing the Opportunity Gap for Babies and Families provides a comprehensive road map for the Administration and Congress to ensure families are supported in giving all babies the same chance to thrive and succeed. Because when babies succeed, we create stronger families, productive communities, and a healthy workforce and economy.

Supporting Babies Through QRIS

Supporting Babies Through QRIS is a series of documents developed by ZERO TO THREE’s Policy Center to help ensure that Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) are supporting the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. The documents present a national review of states’ and jurisdictions’ QRIS that have been implemented statewide and illustrate some examples of QRIS standards and supports that have been included across the nation to help programs promote young children’s development and learning. The series includes Implementation Status and Tools in US States and Other Jurisdictions, Inclusion of Infant and Toddler Quality Standards, and A Self-Assessment Tool for US States and Other Jurisdictions.

Working Families Infographic

Working Families (Infographic)

The White House Summit on Working Families is shining a light on the challenges facing America’s working families as they strive to achieve the American Dream. Part of the American Dream is making a better life for your children, and yet even when parents work full-time, far too many babies are still living in low-income families, the level below which families have difficulty meeting basic needs and are more likely to face hardships. Many factors contribute to these difficulties, but there are things we can do—ensuring families have access to paid family and medical leave as well as affordable, high-quality child care.

Infant, Toddler, and Early Childhood Mental Health Competencies:  A Comparison of Systems

This report by ZERO TO THREE and the Erikson Institute examines how different state working groups have articulated the knowledge and skills that providers of mental health services (or mental health infused services) should have, and how these competencies are being used.  Six systems are highlighted — California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Vermont.  This report reviews what is meant by infant, toddler, and early childhood mental health competencies, provides a brief overview of the six competency systems that are the focus of the review,  shares results of the comparative analysis and summarizes areas of agreement and disagreement, and discusses the relevance of these competency systems to the current early childhood mental health movement.  This report is an update of a 2008 review of early childhood mental health competency systems by Jon Korfmacher and Aimee Hilado.

Resources for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships

The Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships are an exciting opportunity to change the early care and learning landscape for infants and toddlers. Our Partnership webpage provides links to information about the grants, our summary of highlights of the funding announcement, and an array of resources on building partnerships.

Child Welfare Report Cover - thumbnailChanging the Course for Infants and Toddlers: A Survey of State Child Welfare Policies and Initiatives 

This report by ZERO TO THREE and Child Trends presents findings from a 2013 survey of state child welfare agencies about the policies and practices that guide their work in addressing the needs of infants and toddlers who have been maltreated. It identifies innovations in policy and practice, and highlights key challenges, gaps, and barriers that child welfare agencies across the country face in meeting the needs of very young children who have experienced maltreatment. Three short companion pieces offer highlights from the survey and recommendations for states around core issues. Learn more

The Early Learning Challenge Grant is Helping States Better Serve Infants and Toddlers

Fourteen states have received ELC grants since the program was initiated in 2011. Though they are not using a significant portion of their grants to fund initiatives targeting infants and toddlers specifically, grantees’ efforts to strengthen the systems that support all young children and families will reap many benefits for babies. This article discusses states’ ELC plans and the progress they’ve made implementing ELC initiatives. Click here to view

ZTT-Nurturing Change - thumb

Nurturing Change: State Strategies for Improving Infant and Early Childhood
Mental Health

This paper provides an in-depth look at some of the promising strategies states have employed to address I-ECMH access, delivery, financing, evidence base, and systems-level issues across the promotion, prevention, and treatment continuum.  State policymakers will find actionable models and policy strategies, as well as strategic questions to consider in planning for I-ECMH.

Click here to view!

Resource List for the 2013 ECCS Grant Application

ZERO TO THREE Policy Center created a resource list to help states think through some of the strategies they could pursue through the 2013 Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant opportunity. ECCS grants help states build early childhood service systems that better meet the needs of children and families. This year’s grant provides states with an opportunity to make improvements that will specifically benefit infants and toddlers.  Click here to download the resource list.

ZTT school ready infographic - thumbnail image

The School-Ready Child

How do children become ready for school? See ZERO TO THREE’s new infographic, which shows how young children, beginning at birth, acquire the social and emotional skills for success in school and life.

See the Full Graphic!

WATCH - Rally4Babies: Learning Happens from the Start (#Rally4Babies)

View Rally4Babies Video View Rally4Babies Graphics

CLICK HERE to watch the Rally4Babies on YouTube!!!  rally4babies.org!


In This Section

Action Center - Join the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network and access resources and tools to help you in advocating effectively for infants, toddlers and their families.

Building Early Childhood Systems - See how to build comprehensive, coordinated systems of high-quality, prenatal-to-five services in states.

Federal Policy - Discover the ways that Congress and the administration can meet the needs of infants and toddlers through legislation and other policies.

Infant-Toddler Policy Issues - Learn more about the policy issues that impact the good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences of infants and toddlers.

Policy Guide - The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide includes an issue brief on State Advisory Councils, as well as other policy briefs, practical tools, and in-depth policy papers.

State & Community Policy - Learn more about innovative state and community policy approaches to support infants, toddlers, and their families across the country.



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Copyright © 2014 ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

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