2021 State of Babies Yearbook—From My Perspective
Kim Keating, Senior Policy Research Analyst
The virtual release of last year’s report, with discussion of both of these important issues, was very well received and opened the possibilities for the current 2021 Yearbook. This year’s report includes data for even more races/ethnicities. It’s also unique in that, in light of the ongoing pandemic, it includes both pre-COVID circumstances for babies and families from the national dataset sources and, with the partnership of the RAPID-EC team at the University of Oregon, includes recent real-time data on how families are faring economically, emotionally, and in the services they are or are not receiving (e.g., changes they have experienced in well-child visits, vaccinations, job losses, and child care).
“It’s also unique in that, in light of the ongoing pandemic, it includes both pre-COVID circumstances…. [and] recent real-time data on how families are faring economically, emotionally and in the services they are or are not receiving.”
A final piece that all of us who are involved in producing the Yearbook are proud of is the growth that we have also been able to see in our stateofbabies.org website. Each year we have expanded the functionality to make it a go-to informative tool for policymakers, advocates, and early childhood stakeholders in general. This year we were able to add comparative views of all states’ data for indicators together as well as special sub-report views of indicators related to topics we know are of particular importance as a result of the pandemic, such as Material Hardship; Experiences of Babies in Families with Low Income; and Race, Ethnicity, and the Health of Babies.
The response to the 2021 Yearbook has been tremendously positive and assures us that we’re on the right track in meeting the needs of our diverse ZERO TO THREE audiences. I can wholeheartedly say that creating the Yearbook is not something I alone can take credit for. It requires a large—very large—team effort to which our partners at Child Trends and our ZERO TO THREE colleagues, throughout the Policy Center and Communications division in particular, contribute heavily each year. My hope is that the Yearbook will continue to make meaningful “baby steps” and, most importantly, that it will become an even more well-known resource for all interested in the well-being of the littlest among us.
Download the 2021 State of Babies Yearbook, explore your state’s data, and learn more about how you can take action at the State of Babies website.