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.
The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center has been hard at work updating several of the policy briefs and resources in the Early Experiences Matters Policy Guide. These updated resources are available online on our website and have been marked as “NEW.” The Policy Guide is your set of tools for taking action and improving public policies that impact the lives of infants, toddlers, and their families. We encourage you to download them and use them in your work! Check back often, as additional resources continue to be updated.
Federal Policy Update
Introducing Nurturing Change: A New Infant Mental Health Resource
For most people, the term infant-early childhood mental health (I-ECMH) can be somewhat shocking. Some people might tend to think that babies and young children don’t have the same emotional responses as adults do to their environments and relationships. However, mental health and wellbeing is an intrinsic part of infancy and we need to promote it starting with babies. Infants and toddler do experience emotions such as pain and sadness. Moreover, mental health and developmental disorders, including depression, anxiety, and ADHD, can and do begin to manifest in the first years of life. As development progresses, difficult behaviors and emotions that are left untreated often compound and become ingrained. In response, the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center released a new paper, Nurturing Change: State Strategies for Improving Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. In addition to highlighting compelling and varied examples of state-level work in I-ECMH, Nurturing Change also provides strategic questions for states and makes recommendations for state policymakers. Read more here.
State Policy Update
Wisconsin Takes Steps to Address Young Children’s Mental Health
With leadership from the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH) and informed practitioners in the fields of early intervention, child welfare, home visiting, and early learning and development, Wisconsin carried out a proactive and comprehensive set of strategies that address multiple barriers and build an I-ECMH system. The state focused on raising public awareness, securing funding for and initiating small projects, developing a state I-ECMH workforce system, and recognizing DC:0–3R codes for Medicaid payment. Learn more about Wisconsin’s efforts by reading the full state update or listening to a recording of the June 5th webinarfor Nurturing Change.
Publications & Resources
Early Learning by State The White House released state-by-state fact sheets outlining what states could expect to receive in federal funding to expand early learning initiatives. The fact sheets explain how the President’s proposal will invest in high-quality infant and toddler early learning and development, expand effective parent and family supports, and provide high-quality preschool for all 4 year olds.
Tackling Toxic Stress The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University launched a new series of articles, Tackling Toxic Stress, which examine how policymakers, researchers, and practitioners are re-thinking services for children and families based on the science of early childhood development and an understanding of the consequences of adverse early experiences and toxic stress. The first two articles in the series, Pediatricians Take on Toxic Stress and Listening to a Baby’s Brain: Changing the Pediatric Checkup to Reduce Toxic Stress, are now available online. Strategic Road-Map For Reducing Child Poverty The Academic Pediatric Association (APA) Task Force on Childhood Poverty released its plan to address childhood poverty: A Strategic Road Map: Committed to Bringing the Voice of Pediatricians to the Most Important Problem Facing Children in the US Today. The resource outlines strategies the Task Force will use to reduce childhood poverty in the U.S. and alleviate the negative effects of poverty on children's health and wellbeing.