Policy Resource

Infants And Toddlers in the Policy Picture: A Self-Assessment Toolkit For States

Download Files

This toolkit is intended to help state policy leaders and advocates assess the current status of services for infants, toddlers, and their families, and to set priorities for improvement. A user-friendly format allows users to easily access state information from national sources, assess how your state compares to other states, and gather stakeholder input.

All infants and toddlers need good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. Furthermore, young children benefit most from an early childhood system that is built through collaboration. These goals form the framework for a policy agenda that creates a comprehensive range of services and supports that honor the needs and choices of families for their children. This self-assessment toolkit draws on research on effective policies and best practices to help states evaluate progress toward building an effective early childhood system and set priorities for improvement.

The toolkit will guide you through a series of questions that will prompt you to collect data on how infants and toddlers are doing in your state and to analyze existing state policies and funding choices. In each section, ZERO TO THREE has provided national comparison data as well as suggested sources where you can find information for your state. Each topical section also includes optional stakeholder surveys that you may use to gather input on how existing services are meeting families’ needs. We recommend that you read Suggested Process for Using the Self-Assessment Toolkit before you begin using the toolkit.

If you are interested in consulting with someone at ZERO TO THREE about how to use this resource in your state, or if you would like to provide feedback on your experience with the toolkit, please contact stateassessment@zerotothree.org.

The Self-Assessment Toolkit for States features:

• Suggested Process for Using the Self-Assessment Toolkit

• Online Toolkit—Questions about how children are doing, existing state policies and initiatives, and optional stakeholder survey questions. Topics covered include:

  • Overview of Families With Infants and Toddlers in the State
  • Good Health
  • Strong Families
  • Positive Early Learning Experiences
  • Collaboration and System Building

Download the Self-Assessment Toolkit

The toolkit is divided into sections focused on four goals of a state early childhood system: good health, strong families, positive early learning experiences, and collaboration and system building.


Additional Resources

Stakeholder Survey Questions are also available in an editable ExcelTM Format

State leaders may edit questions and/or export to SurveyMonkey or another online tool. Questions are designed for state and community stakeholders (e.g., state and local agencies, service providers). Download Now

Survey Questions for Families of Young Children

To inform planning efforts, state leaders can also survey a sample of families with young children about their experiences accessing various services and supports. ZERO TO THREE’s family survey template is available as a PDF in both English and Spanish, and also as a Survey Monkey template in English and in Spanish.

If you would like to adapt the existing SurveyMonkey template for your own use, please contact us.

Read more about:

Explore more from The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide

Explore more from Governance and Leadership

Explore more from Quality Improvement

Explore more from Accountability and Evaluation

Explore more from Financing

Explore more from Public Engagement and Political Will Building

Explore more from Regulations and Standards

Explore more from Featured Resources

Explore more from Policymakers & Advocates