Issues and Challenges
- Low-income parents find it difficult to access affordable, high-quality care and education for their infants and toddlers while they work, attend school, or seek employment.
- Only half of Medicaid-eligible children receive regular developmental screening during their early years to be sure milestones are met, and many children who would benefit from early intervention services do not receive them.
- The need for parenting supports, including home visiting programs, is far greater than current program capacity.
- Nutrition programs to help the 1 in 5 children experiencing food insecurity are underutilized.
- Increase the availability of subsidized high-quality infant/toddler child care that meets the linguistic and cultural needs of the family.
- Advocate for universal developmental screening and services to support children’s healthy development.
- Promote a continuum of accessible parenting support services, including Early Head Start and other evidence-based home visiting programs.
- Ensure children and parents have access to comprehensive medical care, including behavioral health care and infant mental health support.
- Expand the federal Child Tax Credit to benefit very young poor children.
- Develop state and local community systems to coordinate early education and care, engage families, and reduce toxic stress in infants and toddlers.