Policy Resource

State Policy Technical Assistance

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Through technical assistance to states, ZERO TO THREE staff support states in establishing coordinated, comprehensive services and policies focused on infants and toddlers or ensuring their inclusion in broader system-building efforts.

The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center is a nonpartisan, research-based resource for federal and state policymakers and advocates on the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. The Policy Center brings to bear ZERO TO THREE’s 40 years of research-based expertise on infant and toddler development to ensure that public policies reflect best practices and current research in support of our nation’s very young children. Our agenda is simple: The ZERO TO THREE Policy Center promotes good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences for all infants and toddlers, with special emphasis on those who are the most vulnerable and in need.

Through technical assistance to states, ZERO TO THREE staff support states in establishing coordinated, comprehensive services and policies focused on infants and toddlers or ensuring their inclusion in broader system-building efforts. Technical assistance is focused on meeting a state’s immediate needs in a timely way.

Who Can Receive Technical Assistance from ZERO TO THREE?

The target audience for technical assistance includes: state policymakers, state agency staff, advocacy organizations, and state policy planning groups with members from both public and private sectors.

What Types of Technical Assistance does ZERO TO THREE Provide to States?

ZERO TO THREE regularly provides the following types of technical assistance:

  • Assistance in using ZERO TO THREE’s state policy self-assessment tools to inform policy priorities. ZERO TO THREE has a comprehensive infant-toddler policy self-assessment toolkit, as well as tools focused on: quality rating and improvement systems, home visiting at the state and community levels, child welfare policy, and infant-early childhood mental health.

  • Counsel to and facilitation of state coordinating groups that are working to develop, advance, and communicate an infant-toddler policy agenda.

  • Guidance and support to develop and implement advocacy campaigns to advance an infant-toddler policy agenda, including assistance with building an advocacy coalition, setting priorities, and implementing effective advocacy and communications strategies.

  • National overview presentations on topics including: home visiting, early childhood mental health, child care quality, and program governance and systems.

  • Guidance in expanding or sustaining a state infant-toddler initiative or replicating another state’s model.

  • Resources on exemplary models or practices in other states supporting early childhood development.

  • Convening of policy leaders or advocates from multiple states through in-person meetings and virtual communities of practice to share challenges and approaches to better support an infant-toddler policy agenda.

What are Examples of ZERO TO THREE Technical Assistance?

As examples of ZERO TO THREE’s technical assistance capacity, our staff and consultants have:

  • Provided expert presentations on state policy approaches to better support infants and toddlers in several states including: Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
  • Assisted public-private coordinating groups in several states, including Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Vermont, in developing priorities for a state-specific infant-toddler policy agenda and plans to achieve these priorities. This paper describes the experiences of three states that participated in such a TA opportunity.
  • Supported state leaders and advocates in Rhode Island and Indiana in developing public messaging materials making the case for selected infant-toddler policy priorities.
  • Supported states, including Alaska, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia, in creating and making progress on action plans to strengthen financing and state policies around infant and early childhood mental health diagnosis and treatment.
  • Assisted public-private workgroups in Oregon and Washington, D.C. in developing recommendations to strengthen home visiting programs and better integrate them into broader early childhood system-building efforts.
  • Provided expertise on infant and early childhood mental health to state-level policymakers and advocates, including helping to plan and present at convenings in Wisconsin, Colorado, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alaska, California and Massachusetts.
  • Developed policy products to advance policy and practice improvements, including writing a state policy analysis paper to inform advocacy efforts in Maine, reviewing state strategic plans, and writing infant-impact content for a maternal depression briefing paper in Los Angeles, California.
  • Supported states with implementation of DC:0-5™, including writing and reviewing state policy language, advising on how DC:0-5TM can be incorporated into electronic health records, and reviewing state-developed DC:0-5TM crosswalks.
  • Coordinated multiple in-person meetings with teams from several states to learn from experts and share strategies to improve infant-toddler policies. Topics included financing infant and early childhood mental health diagnosis and treatment, developing and moving an infant-toddler policy agenda, integrating home visiting/Early Head Start in early childhood systems, and financing infant-toddler services.
  • Led multiple cross-state virtual communities of practice to share state best practices. Topics included promoting early childhood mental health, integrating home visiting in early childhood systems, advocating for home visiting, and strengthening mental health supports in home visiting.

How Does ZERO TO THREE Deliver Technical Assistance?

Technical assistance is primarily provided through phone and e-mail consultation. Provision of technical assistance is dependent upon the capacity of ZERO TO THREE staff and consultants. On-site technical assistance is limited, with priority given to Alliance for Early Success states and states that have contracts with ZERO TO THREE.

Contact Us

For more information about technical assistance to states, contact Barbara Gebhard, Assistant Director of Public Policy.

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