Building Strong Foundations for Families

Building Strong Foundations for Families (BSFF) is a state technical assistance project designed to assist selected states in building and strengthening comprehensive policies, programs and systems that ensure families with infants and toddlers have the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.

Using the four-part framework in Building Strong Foundations, a joint publication of ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), to guide the work, the ZTT state policy team supports public-private teams in participating states to develop/refine and make progress on a statewide infant-toddler policy agenda.

Grounded in equity, the ZERO TO THREE BSFF project will ultimately assist states in using data to recognize disparities, take concrete steps to reform policies, and increase access to supports in communities where resources are unequal. To learn more, see Building Strong Foundations: Racial Inequity in Policies that Impact Infants, Toddlers, and Families.

State focus areas are as follows:

State Focus Areas
  • Increase awareness around the importance of connecting with babies (0-3) to enhance reading readiness
  • All babies and pregnant women will receive comprehensive healthcare coverage
  • Make babies a policy priority by bringing statewide attention to what babies and families need to thrive through public awareness and advocacy
  • Arizona
  • Coordinate Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health efforts in the state
  • Increase the number of eligible children accessing Early Intervention services
  • Collaboratively elevate and integrate parent voices in infant and toddler initiatives
  • Idaho
  • Equitable and impactful distribution of COVID relief funds to support high quality child care
  • Implementation of Medicaid billing for home visiting services
  • Development of prevention and family support for infants and toddlers in the Child Welfare system
  • Kentucky
  • Increase equity of knowledge about and access to infant and toddler programs across the state
  • Enhance alignment and coordination of infant-toddler programs and services, at state and local levels
  • Enhance provider training and technical assistance, focused on equity and enhancing coordination of care
  • Maine
  • Explore and work towards developing a “No Wrong Door” access to Part C Early Intervention Services
  • Expand access to high-quality affordable child care in rural areas
  • Investigate and consider how to secure public investment for provider and staff compensation for those serving infants and toddlers
  • Coordinate available resources for families with infants and toddlers involved with the child welfare system
  • Minnesota
  • Expanding maternal coverage for one year postpartum
  • Expanded access to IECMH consultation services and increase diversity of workforce
  • Paid family and medical leave
  • Coordination and access to infant and early childhood services for families
  • Missouri
  • Inform design and implementation of newly announced state Office of Childhood
  • Strengthen infant-toddler focus in Preschool Development Grant Birth-Five activities related to child care subsidy and expansion of Pre-K
  • Montana
  • Increase access to high-quality infant-toddler child care
  • Workforce development and organizational capacity-building for infant-toddler ECE providers
  • Increase inclusion of American Indian content and leadership in infant-toddler care
  • Tennessee
  • Expansion and embedding of infant mental health practices so all are aware of Infant Mental Health
  • Integrated quality data system on early childhood programs
  • Strengthen TN comprehensive early EC system so families can connect
  • Virginia
  • High-quality affordable child care for infants and toddlers
  • Expanded home visiting access through Medicaid reimbursement
  • Maximize federal funds to expand eligibility for public assistance benefits for families with infants and toddlers
  • The BSFF project will span approximately two-years, from spring 2020 to mid-February 2022. Resources, tools, and lessons learned from other ZTT state efforts, including Think Babies and the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Financing Policy Project, will be leveraged throughout.

    Bookmark this page for continued updates to the project.