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Strong Families

Strong Families
a woman holding a baby as he sleeps

Babies need stable families and strong relationships to grow. Nurturing relationships, together with meeting basic needs, support strong physical and emotional development, laying the foundation for a strong start in life.

Strong families need policy supports related to:

  • Basic Needs Support
  • Child Welfare
  • Home Visiting
  • Supportive Policies/Paid leave

Paid leave for my family would mean that we would continue being able to provide for our family…

Watch Emily’s story.


The State of Babies Yearbook: 2021 shows a mix of barriers and facilitators related to strong families. For example:

  • Before COVID-19, as many as 40% of infants and toddlers lived in families with low income (less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level) or $54,000 for a family of four and did not have the financial resources to make ends meet. This includes nearly 19% of the nation’s 11.5 million babies who were living in outright poverty.
  • Nationally, only 22% of families in poverty with an infant or toddler receive federal cash assistance, but access to those benefits ranges widely from a low of 3% to a high of 88%, depending on how states allocate their TANF funds.
  • 16% of infants and toddlers live in crowded housing, which is associated with higher risk of COVID infection and was already known to jeopardize development. States ranged from a low of 6% to a high of 28% in this respect.
  • Nearly 8% of infants and toddlers have already had two or more adverse experiences. This ranges from a low of 2% to a high of 18%.