The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide

The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide is your set of tools for taking action and improving public policies that impact the lives of infants, toddlers, and their families.

The greatest opportunity for influencing a child’s life begins on day one, and public policy plays an important role in ensuring that our youngest children get off to the best possible start in life. Policy is how practice and research can reach millions across every state, in every community, and in Washington, DC, and there are multiple ways for you to get involved in the public policy process at all levels of decision making.

The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide is your set of tools for taking action and improving public policies that impact the lives of infants, toddlers, and their families.

The Early Experiences Matter Policy Guide offers you a wealth of policy options and strategies to use in your efforts to affect policy change for very young children and their families. We encourage you to use them in your work and disseminate them widely.

IN THIS GUIDE

  1. Overview & Policy Agenda
  2. Good Health
  3. Strong Families
  4. Positive Early Learning Experiences
  5. Early Childhood Systems

Overview and Policy Agenda

The documents in this section orient you to ZERO TO THREE’s overall policy agenda and other comprehensive policy resources.

Good Health

Children learn best when they are healthy physically, socially, and emotionally. We can ensure the good health of infants, toddlers, and their families by enacting policies which address the following issues.

Strong Families

Young children learn and grow in strong families where parents are able to successfully face the challenge of caring for their children, while, at the same time, meeting their work and other responsibilities. We can nurture strong families that allow babies and toddlers to thrive by enacting policies which address the following issues.

Positive Early Learning Experiences

Learning in very young children takes place through play, the active exploration of their environment, and, most importantly, through interactions with the significant adults in their lives. We can provide positive early learning experiences that lay the foundation for future success by enacting policies which address the following issues.

Early Childhood Systems

Programs and services that address these areas are critical; however, they are only as strong as the infrastructure that supports them. We can build comprehensive, coordinated systems of high-quality, prenatal-to-five services by utilizing the following resources and tools.