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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.

New SAMHSA Community Action Guide

The Baby Monitor

November 13, 2012



New SAMHSA Community Action Guide

Supporting Babies and Families Impacted by Caregiver Mental Health Problems, Substance Abuse, and Trauma: A Community Action Guide, a new publication prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) by ZERO TO THREE, presents resources that service providers, advocates, and practitioners can use to better understand and engage their communities in responding to children whose caregivers are negatively impacted by mental illness, substance abuse, or trauma.

The Guide contains five sections:

  • Section 1 focuses on the importance of early development, highlighting recent findings about how the brain develops.
  • Section 2 examines the latest research on how toxic stress can harm brain development, and how toxic stress can occur in families struggling with mental health problems, substance abuse, and a history of trauma.
  • Section 3 looks at how to build a sturdy foundation for the very young children in communities.
  • Section 4 provides a six-step guide for taking action.
  • The Appendices offer lists of organizational resources, hotlines, screening tools, and tips on how to evaluate your efforts.


Download the Community Action Guide now.



Federal Policy Update

Looking Backward and Moving Forward

Congress returns today for a post-election session that could be very consequential for the new Congress that was elected last week. The “Lame Duck” 112th Congress may very well reach agreement with President Obama, energized by his re-election, on the framework of a deal to resolve the rapidly-approaching fiscal deadlines related to across-the-board spending cuts and expiring tax cuts. Most likely it would fall to the newly elected 113th Congress, which convenes in January and will include at least 93 newcomers to the House or Senate, to flesh out this framework.

Infant-toddler advocates need to send a clear message to their elected representatives, old, returning, or new: Any budget deal must be balanced in its approach and protect the programs that help support the ingredients of healthy, positive early childhood development– from early care and learning opportunities to nutrition to stable housing. To make vulnerable young children and their families bear the burden of controlling our debt is to undercut the very future we are trying to preserve.

Read more about the Congressional elections and the Lame Duck session in the Baby Policy Blog. And check out last week’s blog post on the morning after the election.



State Policy Update

North Carolina Uses Pregnancy Medical Homes to Improve Birth Outcomes

North Carolina is working to improve birth outcomes by getting doctors and other providers of maternity care to screen pregnant women for risk factors and to use evidence-based practices for prenatal care.  The Pregnancy Medical Home program is a partnership among Community Care of North Carolina and the state Divisions of Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and Public Health. Participating health care providers agree to screen every Medicaid-eligible pregnant woman to determine whether she is at risk for preterm birth.  When a woman is determined to be at risk, the doctor refers her to a pregnancy care manager from the local public health department to coordinate care throughout the pregnancy.  In addition, the pregnancy medical home agrees to not perform elective deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation, aim for a primary cesarean delivery rate below 20 percent, and provide progesterone injections for women with a history of spontaneous preterm birth. Doctors receive financial incentives to participate in the program.  Preliminary results indicate downward trends in the rates of low birth weight and primary cesarean delivery among pregnant women receiving Medicaid. Read the full state policy update now.



Publications & Resources

NTI Live Webcast
ZERO TO THREE’s National Training Institute (NTI) is providing an opportunity to participate in this year’s training, even if you cannot travel to attend in person. NTI will offer live webcasts of five sessions on Thursday, November 29th. Click here for more information and to register.

State Child Care Policies for Limited English Proficient Families
New from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), State Child Care Policies for Limited English Proficient Families summarizes state-reported activities to better serve and engage with Limited English Proficient (LEP) families and providers through state child care assistance programs.

State-Level Data on Children with Disabilities
Child Trends published a new research brief, Children with Disabilities: State-Level Data from the American Community Survey, which provides data on the number and percentage of children identified as having a disability in the U.S. and within each of the states.

Early Childhood Success Among Young Children in Black Immigrant Families
Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released the report, Patterns and Predictors of School Readiness and Early Childhood Success Among Young Children in Black Immigrant Families, which examines the well-being of the children of black immigrant parents born in the U.S. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, the report analyzes the early childhood experiences and outcomes of children in black immigrant families relative to their peers in other immigrant and native groups.


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ZERO TO THREE · National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families
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