ZERO TO THREE Tells Policymakers to Make Every Baby a National Priority
The Think Babies™ campaign expands into six states as it returns for its second year and Strolling Thunder™ rolls in.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — ZERO TO THREE’s Think Babies™ campaign is expanding its reach in 2018, collaborating with leading children’s advocacy organizations in six states to bring its message closer to home.
Think Babies is increasing awareness about issues that must be addressed for babies and families to thrive. Key campaign priorities include: quality, affordable child care; time for parents to bond with their babies; healthy emotional development; and strong physical health and nutrition.
“The science is clear – our brains grow faster between the ages of 0 and 3 than at any later point in our lives,” said ZERO TO THREE Executive Director Matthew Melmed. “Babies’ brains form more than one million new neural connections every second. When babies don’t get what their growing brains need during this crucial time, it can lead to life-long developmental, educational, social, and health challenges. When we Think Babies and invest in infants, toddlers and their families, we ensure a strong future for us all.”
In 2017, Think Babies focused on national-level awareness. Now ZERO TO THREE is taking the campaign one step further, collaborating with leading children’s advocacy organizations in six states to make every baby a national priority. “Decisions that affect babies and families happen at all levels of government, not only on Capitol Hill,” said Melmed. “That’s why we’re expanding Think Babies to include state-level activities – to drive the conversation about the importance of investing in infants, toddlers and their families across America.”
ZERO TO THREE’s partners for Think Babies state action include: Colorado Children’s Campaign and Clayton Early Learning; Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students; Advocates for Children of New Jersey; Child Care Services Association in partnership with North Carolina Early Education Coalition; Rhode Island Kids Count; and Children’s Alliance in Washington.
ZERO TO THREE will provide funding, technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities to support these organizations as they develop and implement campaigns to advance policies that benefit infants and toddlers, including:
- Increasing access to affordable, quality child care for infants and toddlers;
- Creating paid family leave policies providing full or partial replacement of wages after birth or adoption;
- Increasing access to infant and early childhood mental health services;
- Increasing access to voluntary, evidence-based home visiting for families with infants and toddlers;
- Increasing access to child and family screenings, supports and linkages to needed services; and,
- Increasing access to healthy nutrition and obesity prevention initiatives for infants and toddlers.
As part of this year’s campaign, ZERO TO THREE will also stroll back on Capitol Hill for our second annual Strolling Thunder™ event. On May 8, infants, toddlers and their families from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will share their stories with their Members of Congress and urge them to Think Babies and Act – for stronger families, vibrant communities, and a prosperous country. In addition to meeting with Members of Congress and their staff, families will join ZERO TO THREE and its partners for a mid-day rally on Capitol Hill. As part of Strolling Thunder, ZERO TO THREE will also host a digital day of action to engage partners, advocates, and families across the country in urging Congress to Think Babies and Act via email and social media. State partners will host their own versions of the event in their states.
ZERO TO THREE encourages everyone to become part of the team that is fighting for our future. Sign up at thinkbabies.org today to learn more about Think Babies and Strolling Thunder and find out how to take action. Watch the new Think Babies video and share it on social media to raise the volume on the conversation.
Funding partners for Think Babies include the Perigee Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports the campaign’s public education aspects.
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/zerotothree or follow @zerotothree on Twitter.
Representative Cole receives the award for making babies and young children a national priority.