Ensuring an equitable start for all babies requires understanding the influence of race, ethnicity, and racism in the lives of babies and families. As a result of the longstanding history of systemic racism and marginalization in the United States, babies in communities of color, particularly Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native infants and toddlers, are disproportionately at risk for poorer outcomes in each of ZERO TO THREE’s policy framework domains of well-being that are essential for healthy development—Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences.
The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation Pathways Data Dashboard is the culmination of several years of ongoing collaboration between a diverse group of stakeholders in the state. Members of the group began with a common objective of ensuring that all children in the state achieve 3rd grade reading proficiency outcomes. The effort required consensus on the many factors, both in the home and in the community, that influence a child’s ability to reach this goal. The Measures of Success Framework (Pathways to Grade-Level Reading, n.d.-b) and resulting dashboard (Pathways to Grade-Level Reading, n.d.-a), launched in June 2020, include more than 60 data measures that matter for moving the needle on 3rd grade reading outcomes—from healthy birthweight and safe neighborhoods to positive school climate and trauma- informed communities. The dashboard presents national, state, county, school district, age, income, race, and ethnicity data. It allows anyone who cares about young children and families in North Carolina to have data at their fingertips with interactive graphs and maps to display the data that is of most interest to them.
To learn more about addressing bias and advancing equity in state policy read here.