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Hearing on the Economic and Societal Costs of Poverty

Statement of Matthew Melmed, Executive Director, ZERO TO THREE, submitted to the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives on January 24, 2007.

“Some may wonder why babies matter in public policy. Surely they are the province of their parents or caregivers. Yet, public policies often affect very young children, policies that are sometimes created with little thought as to their consequences for this age group. In addition, many policies focus on the effects of ignoring the needs of infants and toddlers, for example, by having to address the cognitive gaps between low-income preschoolers and their more affluent peers or providing intensive special education services for problems that may have begun as much milder developmental delays left untreated in a young baby. Mr. Chairman, my message to you is that babies can’t wait—we know that early intervention and prevention works best and we know what works to promote healthy development in young children.”

Download the PDF to read Matthew’s full testimony.

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