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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.

Professional Resources

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.

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!

 

Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk
This joint report by ZERO TO THREE and CLASP draws on newly conducted research on state efforts to expand and enhance access to Early Head Start services for infants, toddlers, and their families. It describes the diverse strategies states are using to build upon Early Head Start and offers recommendations for states interested in expanding this proven program. The report builds on a previous paper, Building on the Promise: State Initiatives to Expand Access to Early Head Start for Young Children and their Families, released by the two organizations in 2008.

In addition to the paper, ZERO TO THREE and CLASP updated profiles of states with initiatives to expand and enhance Early Head Start. Download them below.

Illinois Child Care Collaboration Initiative

Minnesota

Illinois Prevention Initiative

Missouri

Kansas

Nebraska

Maine

Oklahoma

Maryland

 

A Developmental Approach to Child Welfare Services for Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families: A Self-Assessment Tool for States and Counties Administering Child Welfare Services
This self-assessment tool stems from the collective vision of leading child welfare and early childhood development organizations. It is designed to help states and counties both prepare to meet the new federal requirements for state child welfare plans and conduct ongoing assessment and quality improvement efforts by: assessing how well their child welfare practices and policies address the developmental needs of infants and toddlers; identifying where and how policies and practices can be improved; and engaging partners in taking constructive action.

Staffed Family Child Care Networks: A Strategy to Enhance Quality Care for Infants and Toddlers
This paper defines staffed Family Child Care (FCC) networks and examines how they are uniquely positioned to improve the quality of care that infants and toddlers receive in FCC settings.

Making It Happen: Overcoming Barriers to Providing Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health
This article is intended to illuminate the scientific evidence for I-ECMH policies; examine issues faced by national, state, and local program directors and mental health practitioners in providing I-ECMH services; and propose a set of recommendations for policy improvements at the federal level.

Including Infants and Toddlers in the Early Learning Challenge (ELC)
The ELC offers an opportunity to increase the number of disadvantaged children, birth to five, in high-quality early childhood settings and to create and enhance state integrated early learning systems. This PowerPoint developed by the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center emphasizes the importance of supporting early learning beginning from birth and provides information on how the unique needs of infants and toddlers can be addressed in each of the five selection criteria

Early Learning Challenge (ELC) Resource List
The ELC offers an opportunity to increase the number of disadvantaged children, birth to five, in high-quality early childhood settings and to create and enhance state integrated early learning systems. This annotated bibliography includes resources from the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center and the National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative at ZERO TO THREE. The resources are organized by the ELC selection criteria to best provide assistance in how areas affecting infants and toddlers align with each of the criteria.

Home Visiting Community Planning Tool
This tool from ZERO TO THREE guides communities through the process of creating new or expanding existing home visiting services that meet their unique needs. It helps communities use data to identify their strengths, needs, and gaps in current home visiting services; choose an evidence-based program model; and align work at the local level with state efforts. Though this tool is relevant to any situation in which home visiting services are being explored, it is especially useful for communities receiving funding through the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.

Inspiring Innovation: Creative State Financing Structures for Infant-Toddler Services
This joint paper from ZERO TO THREE and the Ounce of Prevention Fund highlights the work of four states—Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma—that have developed innovative financing structures to support services for at-risk infants and toddlers. It reveals key policy elements that cut across all four states, as well as strategic decisions, lessons, and recommendations critical to the establishment of particular financing structures that support high-quality programs for infants and toddlers.

Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers:  Recommendations for States
This report by ZERO TO THREE, drawing on the expertise of national and state leaders, offers recommendations and examples to states as they embark on an inclusive process to develop or refine research-based early learning guidelines for infants and toddlers.  This report focuses on the unique and foundational nature of the infant and toddler period and addresses issues related to both process and content.  It is offered as a road map for states as they develop policies and programs that lay a strong foundation for child development and future learning through responsive, appropriate, and high-quality early experiences.

Charting Progress for Babies Policy Framework
In the first year of the multi-year Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project; The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) collaborated with ZERO TO THREE to develop a Policy Framework. The Framework offers four fundamental principles which form a basis for the supports that all babies and toddlers in child care need. In addition, the Policy Framework offers 15 recommendations that should be tackled in state child care licensing, quality, and subsidy policies. 

Common Vision, Different Paths:  Five States’ Journeys toward Comprehensive Prenatal-to-Five Systems
A joint report from ZERO TO THREE and Pre-K Now articulates a common vision for early childhood systems in which programs work effectively with each other to provide high-quality early learning and comprehensive services.  The report reveals lessons learned from five states’ unique journeys toward such prenatal-to-five systems and identifies four cornerstones that have helped states succeed in this work.  Advocates and policymakers will also find guidance on building on the momentum around individual programs for the larger push toward a system that works for all young children and families. To request printed copies, e-mail Kimberly Lagomarsino.

State Policies to Improve the Odds for the Healthy Development and School Readiness of Infants and Toddlers
How state policymakers and agency administrators choose to allocate funds, promote quality, and establish eligibility criteria influence who has access to essential supports and who does not.  This can be particularly important for vulnerable infants and toddlers.  Based on The National Center for Children in Poverty's (NCCP) Improving the Odds for Young Children project, this article profiles each state's infant and toddler policy choices, and recognizes choices that go above and beyond the minimum requirements dictated at the federal level.

Characteristics of Early Childhood System Building Initiatives in Communities
Summarizes characteristics of early childhood system building initiatives in the communities featured at a national policy summit, “In Our Own Backyards:  Local Initiatives that Change Young Children’s Lives,” held in Cleveland on June 6 8, 2007 and co-hosted by ZERO TO THREE and Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s Invest in Children.

In Our Own Backyards: Local Initiatives that Change Young Children's Lives
Building comprehensive systems for young children requires new ways of doing business at both the state and local levels.  Local communities in particular play an important role in building and managing an early childhood system, serving as laboratories for what can and does work.  This article announces a national policy summit, cohosted by ZERO TO THREE and Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s Invest in Children, that focuses on early childhood system building in communities, and also gives tips on how to Be a Voice for Babies and play an active role in your community's system building.

Helping Young Children Succeed

Describes how state policymakers can support the healthy social-emotional development of young children from birth to age five. The brief defines early childhood social-emotional development; describes what can happen when children face emotional and behavioral problems; and outlines what actions can be taken at the state level to support healthy social-emotional development in babies and young children (joint research and policy report developed by ZERO TO THREE and the National Conference of State Legislatures).

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RELATED INFORMATION

Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk
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State Baby Facts
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Community Initiatives
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1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

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