Inspiring Innovation: Creative State Financing Structures for Infants and Toddlers
States can and should be investing in infants and toddlers as they work to build their birth-to-five systems. The four states highlighted in this policy brief exemplify such models of state investment.
We are living in a time of great change and opportunity, in which it is possible to envision our nation fully supporting the healthy development of the very youngest children and laying the foundation for a new future for all of us. State governments play an important role in achieving this vision and ensuring that all young children have access to high-quality and affordable early care and education, physical and mental health, and family support services. Programs and services that address these areas are essential, yet they are only as strong as the infrastructure that supports them. An effective system of care and services for infants and toddlers requires solid funding structures that combine federal and state dollars with private funding sources. Although the federal government invests in young children, it cannot do so alone. States can and should be investing in infants and toddlers as they work to build their birth-to-five systems. The four states highlighted in this policy brief exemplify such models of state investment.
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Wisconsin carried out a proactive and comprehensive set of strategies that address multiple barriers and build an I-ECMH system.