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Building For the Future & Our Federal Policy Agenda

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Our systems for supporting the health and well-being of young children and families are threadbare. Here is how we move forward and ensure that all babies can meet their full potential.


ZERO TO THREE’s State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 revealed that, even before COVID-19 shook the world, families with young children faced challenges that risk many babies’ strong development, especially babies of color and those in families with low income. In response to this burgeoning crisis, the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center offers a suite of resources that identify policy opportunities to bolster the supports available to America’s youngest children and their families and lay a strong foundation for our future.


Recovery Begins with Babies and Families: An Agenda for the Administration and the 117th Congress

As the 117th Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration work to address the COVID-19 pandemic’s destructive force and put our country back on track, our babies demand attention.

Our legislators have both a challenge and an opportunity before them: to adopt robust, comprehensive child and family policies so our nation’s families will never again be set adrift, in crisis or in calm. Our nation will reap the rewards of such policies now and in the future. When families have what they need to thrive our economy works. When policies embody equity—ensuring access to populations previously marginalized based on color, national origin, or family income—all children have opportunities to flourish and our society is strengthened.

Building Back Better for Babies and Toddlers: ZERO TO THREE’s Transition Plan

With the Biden-Harris Administration preparing to take office, they face choices that will profoundly affect the trajectory of our youngest children. We must do more to secure a better future for our children.

The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center presented President-Elect Biden with a set of transition recommendations with strong connections to his own policy proposals – in short, the “baby agenda.” From COVID-19 relief policies to key policies to build for the future, this agenda provides a blueprint for the Biden Administration to respond to the immediate needs created by the pandemic and build a better foundation for babies into the American bedrock.

Building for the Future: Strong Policies for Babies and Families after COVID-19

This transition document builds on Building for the Future: Strong Policies for Babies and Families after COVID-19, which brings together the landscape for babies and families before the pandemic, observations on the impact of the pandemic , and the policy gaps that are leaving families of color and those with low income particularly vulnerable. Detailed discussions of COVID-19 relief policies can be found in briefs outlining the Five Critical Needs For Babies in COVID-19.

Our Babies Can’t Wait

For the 12 million infants and toddlers in the United States, the policy supports laid out in our baby agenda can make a big difference in their chances for a strong start. The littlest among us face big challenges. We can’t afford to squander their potential.

We invite you to explore these resources and join us to Think BabiesTM to improve outcomes for babies and families across the nation.

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We need your support now more than ever to ensure all babies have access to the quality care, services and support they need to thrive.