The greatest opportunity for influencing a child’s life begins on day one, and public policy plays an important role in ensuring that our youngest children get off to the best possible start in life. Policy is how practice and research can reach millions across every state, in every community, and in Washington, DC, and there are multiple ways for you to get involved in the public policy process at all levels of decision making.
The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide is your set of tools for taking action and improving public policies that impact the lives of infants, toddlers, and their families. All of the materials in the toolkit are accessible online, and we encourage you to use them in your work and disseminate them widely.
The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide offers you a wealth of policy options and strategies to use in your efforts to affect policy change for infants, toddlers, and their families. It includes mini policy briefs, practical tools, in-depth policy papers, and more.
To download the entire Policy Guide, click here.
Each individual piece in the Policy Guide can be downloaded and printed by clicking on the links below.
Agenda - The documents in this section orient you to ZERO TO THREE’s overall policy agenda and other comprehensive policy resources, including About Us, Infant-Toddler Policy & Systems Framework, Making the Case, Infant-Toddler Data, and A Place to Get Started.
Good Health - Children learn best when they are healthy physically, socially, and emotionally. We can ensure the good health of infants, toddlers, and their families by enacting policies which address the following issues: Physical Health, Social and Emotional Health, Developmental Screening, and Nutrition.
Strong Families - Parents play the most active and significant role in their baby’s healthy development. Young children learn and grow in strong families where parents are able to successfully face the challenge of caring for their children, while, at the same time, meeting their work and other responsibilities. We can nurture strong families that allow babies and toddlers to thrive by enacting policies which address the following issues: Basic Needs, Family Leave, Child Welfare, and Home Visiting.
Positive Early Learning Experiences - Babies are born learning. Learning in very young children takes place through play, the active exploration of their environment, and, most importantly, through interactions with the significant adults in their lives. We can provide positive early learning experiences that lay the foundation for future success by enacting policies which address the following issues: Child Care, Early Head Start, and Early Intervention.
Systems - All infants and toddlers need access to high-quality, affordable early care and education, health and mental health, and family support services. Programs and services that address these areas are critical; however, they are only as strong as the infrastructure that supports them. We can build comprehensive, coordinated systems of high-quality, prenatal-to-five services by utilizing the following resources and tools: Systems, State Advisory Councils, State Self-Assessment Checklist.
National Baby Facts - Learn more about the state of infants, toddlers, and families in the U.S. through this national profile.
National Baby Facts Reference List - This is the reference list for the data used in the National Baby Facts.
ZERO TO THREE Policy Pocket Card - Our newest advocacy tool, the Policy Pocket Card, provides you with a quick and easy way to communicate effectively with policymakers about what we know, what we can do and how we all benefit from supporting early childhood experiences beginning at birth.
Pocket Card Reference List - This reference list includes the data featured in the ZERO TO THREE Policy Pocket Card, complete with citations and links to the sources for more information.