Baby Matters: A Gateway to State Policies and Initiatives is a searchable database that contains information on state policies and initiatives that impact infants, toddlers and their families. To search Baby Matters for information on developmental screening, click here.
Preterm birth, defined as a birth occurring before 37 weeks gestation, places infants at high risk of long-term hospitalization, developmental challenges, and infant death. November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and in recognition of this important issue, this From Science to Public Policy article is devoted to the developmental issues associated with prematurity, the policy implications, and opportunities for advocacy action. Infant-toddler advocates can play an important role in raising awareness about the developmental consequences of prematurity and the policy solutions that can contribute to healthy development of all infants and toddlers. Read this article to learn more about how the science of early childhood development can help us advocate to improve outcomes for newborn infants.
Early Intervention for Abused and Neglected Infants & Toddlers
Children who suffer abuse or neglect, or have parents who suffer from mental health problems (especially maternal depression), substance abuse, or family violence have as high a probability of experiencing developmental delays as do children with medical conditions that are automatically eligible for Part C services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Early intervention programs that deliver carefully designed interventions with well-defined goals can positively affect the developmental trajectories of infants and toddlers whose life course is threatened by disrupted parenting. A strong connection between the child welfare/child protection system and Part C is therefore needed to ensure access to early intervention services that can provide significant benefits to abused or neglected children. This article describes the science of early childhood development, how it impacts on the creation of public policy, and the role you can play in advocating for effective implementation of that policy within states.