Families strive every day to do the best for their children. ZERO TO THREE’s federal policy agenda reflects the hopes and challenges families express for giving their infants and toddlers what they need most to thrive: Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences. They are fighting for their children’s futures, and they are imploring the President and Congress to join with them.
“My biggest thing is to fight for our families.” Tiffany, LA
Every day across the United States, parents take on the toughest yet most joyous job—raising the more than 11 million infants and toddlers who, in the second half of this century, will be the workers, caregivers, problem-solvers, and leaders of our country.
The actions of the 118th Congress and the President take to support what infants and toddlers most need to thrive: Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences, will help determine whether families who have carried on through the pandemic and tough economic times have the tools for this vital work and whether critical early foundations for their children and the nation will be strong or fragile.
Congress and the Administration must work together to transform pediatric care to support early development; increase the capacity of systems to support strong infant and early childhood mental health; expand supportive services and trauma informed care for families dealing with substance use disorders; and expand Medicaid coverage for mothers and babies.
Congress and the Administration must come together to enact comprehensive national paid family and medical leave policies; build an equitable economic base; support families in meeting their basic needs and the needs of their children; create communities that reinforce family strengths; and transform child welfare into a family-focused, trauma-informed “child well-being system.”
Positive Early Learning Experiences
Our agenda calls on Congress and the Administration to work together to sustain child care and build the world class system families deserve; to fully fund Early Head Start as a beacon of hope for families with low-incomes and as the model of what a well-supported system of care and support for families with young children can look like; and to expand support for early intervention as an essential part of the child care and early learning system.
ZERO TO THREE’s federal agenda for our policymakers was formed in partnership with families themselves, who gave input on key policies and sent a clear message: they want policymakers to make young children a top priority by advancing policies that equitably distribute resources, remove barriers, and create opportunities. Families are urging national leaders not to sideline policies that bolster their important work, but to embrace the well-being of their children as the key to our future.
Babies Need You to Think Babies and Act™
For infants and toddlers in the United States, the decisions Congress and the Administration make today about the policies and supports laid out in this agenda will reverberate over the course of their lives.
We invite you to explore these resources and Think Babies™ by prioritizing the supports babies and families need to thrive.