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Think Babies™ High-Quality and Affordable Child Care Resource List

Infants and toddlers need access to affordable, quality child care. This annotated resource list includes a range of materials, such as policy briefs, fact sheets, websites and tools, to help stakeholders learn about the issue.


Child Care Assistance: A Critical Support for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, ZERO TO THREE and CLASP, October 2017 – This paper is part of a series describing 13 policies core to advancing infant-toddler wellbeing in four essential areas: high quality early care and education opportunities; strong parents; economically stable families; and healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy parents. It discusses the importance of affordable, high-quality child care to children’s development and family economic security.

Child Care Advocacy Toolkit, ZERO TO THREE, 2018 – This advocacy toolkit includes resources that you can use to support state campaigns, including: a fact sheet on infant-toddler child care, talking points, graphics, as well as a sample op-ed.

Supporting Babies through QRIS,  ZERO TO THREE, February 2015 – This series of tools helps state leaders to consider how to develop or revise QRIS standards and supports to better support quality improvement for infant-toddler child care programs. This includes: a self-assessment on current systems, recommended infant-toddler child care quality standards, and a national scan of existing systems.

How to Build a Strong Infant-Toddler Workforce, ZERO TO THREE, February 2012 – This policy brief discusses the need to build a strong infant-toddler workforce in child care and other settings and provides a list of key policy recommendations.

Preventing Expulsion from Preschool and Child Care, ZERO TO THREE –This series of resources, including videos from ZERO TO THREE event, describes strategies to address implicit bias and to prevent  expulsion from preschool and child care.

Staffed Family Child Care Networks: A Strategy to Enhance Quality Care for Infants and Toddlers, ZERO TO THREE, February 2012 – This paper defines staffed Family Child Care (FCC) networks and examines how they are uniquely positioned to improve the quality of care that infants and toddlers receive in FCC settings.

National Infant-Toddler Child Care Initiative, ZERO TO THREE – This project of the federal Child Care Bureau, housed at ZERO TO THREE, was designed to support Child Care Development Fund administrators in their efforts to effect systems-wide improvements in infant and toddler child care. Archived resources on a range of child care policy topics are available online.

State Initiative articles discussing child care – ZERO TO THREE’s State Initiatives is a collection of articles highlighting innovative actions states have taken to improve well-being for infants and toddlers.

State of Babies Yearbook 2019 – ZERO TO THREE, February 2019 – This yearbook compares national and state-by-state data on the well-being of America’s babies to help policymakers and advocates advance policies and budgets that put babies and families first.

Think Babies National Partner Resources

Mapping Infant-Toddler Child Care Supply and Demand, Child Care Aware of America, January 2019 – This tool for state and community organizations provides guidance on how to map infant-toddler child care supply and demand so that resources can be targeted to the greatest need.

As of April 2019, nearly 60 national organizations with diverse missions, memberships and expertise have joined the Think Babies campaign. Learn more about how they are supporting the campaign through written products, joint events and advocacy here.

Additional Resources

From Unlivable Wages to Just Pay for Educators, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, 2019 – This report summarizes recent research on wage standards and critically assesses existing initiatives intended to address the problem of low wages in early childhood education.

Child Care in State Economies, Committee for Economic Development, 2019 – This report examines the child care industry’s effect on parents’ participation in the labor force and provides extensive details regarding the industry’s impact on regional economic growth and development.

Infant-Toddler Resource Guide, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Care – This Resource Guide offers a host of materials to support the development and implementation of policies and practices for high-quality care for infants and toddlers for a variety of policy and practitioner audiences.

State Child Care Fact Sheets, Child Care Aware of America, 2018 – These state facts sheets include state data that illustrates the supply of and potential demand for child care, as well as the average cost of care.

Child Care Works,offsite link Child Care Aware of America – This campaign website includes child care advocacy resources for parents and child care providers.

National Women’s Law Center’s website – NWLC’s Child Care Now national campaign provides advocacy tools and a child care policy agenda, with a focus on federal policy and funding. The NWLC website also includes fact sheets and resources on child care assistance policy, child care tax strategies, and the child care workforce.

Implementing the Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization: A Guide for States, CLASP and National Women’s Law Center, updated June 2017 – This guide helps state policymakers consider how to meet the requirements of reauthorization and implement best practice policies for children’s development.

Strengthening State and Territory Infant-Toddler Child Care Policies and Practices: A Tool for Advancing Infant-Toddler Child Care Quality, Child Care State Capacity Building Center, April 2017 – This tool is designed to support state child care leaders and infant/toddler stakeholders as they assess, prioritize, plan, implement, and evaluate state policies in order to strengthen the quality of child care services infants, toddlers, and their families receive.

State and Territory Approaches to Improving the Supply and Quality of Child Care Programs and Services for Infants and Toddlers, Child Care State Capacity Building Center, February 2017 – This resource provides a synopsis of state plans to improve the supply and quality of child care programs and services for infants and toddlers to meet CCDF set-aside requirements.

Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies, CLASP, August 2013 – This report presents data from a state survey on child care subsidy, licensing, and quality enhancement policies for infant-toddler care.

Resources about Supports and Systems for Improving the Quality of Family Child Care, National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, 2017 – These resources are designed to help states to improve access to high-quality family child care. This includes: a policy assessment tool, a resource on engaging family child care providers, and several resources focused on implementing staffed family child care networks.

Developing a Statewide Network of Infant-Toddler Specialists: Technical Assistance Guide for States and Territories, Child Care State Capacity Building Center, updated 2017 – This policy brief provides guidance to states on how to develop a statewide network of infant-toddler specialists focused on quality improvement in child care.

Related Resources


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