As a constituent, I’m writing to share new information about how babies are faring in [STATE].
ZERO TO THREE’s State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 shows us that, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the littlest among us faced big challenges, and that the policies and programs in their state make a big difference in their ability to reach their full potential. Most alarming, significant disparities across key indicators of well-being emphasize the big barriers babies of color face. The current crisis has further exposed and exacerbated these disparities and structural barriers, which have harmful and life-altering effects that begin even before birth and can last a lifetime.
According to the Yearbook, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, [INSERT STATE DATA] percent of babies in [STATE] were living in poverty and we know the numbers are increasing as families struggle with the economic impact of the current crisis. Exploring the numbers by race and ethnicity presents a clearer picture, revealing that as many as [INSERT STATE DATA] percent of Black babies and [INSERT STATE DATA] percent of Hispanic babies in our state were already living in poverty compared to [INSERT STATE DATA] percent of White babies. Because of historical and structural inequalities, children of color face some of the biggest obstacles, such as low birthweight, unstable housing, and limited access to quality child care.
A baby’s brain develops faster between ages 0 to 3 than at any later point in life, forming more than one million new neural connections every second. When babies have the support they need, those connections are stimulated and strengthened, laying a strong foundation for the rest of their lives. When infants and toddlers don’t have the support they need to grow and thrive, their development suffers, leading to lifelong developmental, educational, social and health consequences. Every baby deserves to reach his or her full potential. Where you’re born, the color of your skin, or your family’s income should not make a difference in your chances for a strong start in life.
In order to meet babies’ critical needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and build stronger systems for the future we need to [BEING AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE AND USING AS FEW WORDS AS POSSIBLE, INSERT PRIORITIES BASED ON YOUR ORGANIZATION’S OBJECTIVES]:
- [SUSTAIN CHILD CARE AND OTHER EARLY LEARNING SUPPORTS.]
- [ENSURE ECONOMIC SECURITY.]
- [SUPPORT STRONG FAMILIES.]
- [SUPPORT STRONG SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL HEALTH.]
- [MEET BASIC NEEDS FOR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.]
I hope that you will find the State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 a helpful resource as you consider the policies and investments needed in [STATE] to put babies and families first. We can’t afford to squander the potential of a single child if our nation is to fully recover and be successful in the future. I would be happy to discuss this further with you. [INSERT CONTACT INFORMATION]