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[ARTICLE NAME AND DATE], [AUTHOR] highlighted the challenges children and families face today. It’s unfortunate—yet true—that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the littlest among us faced big challenges and where children are born affects their chances for a strong start in life.
As a [ADVOCATE/PARENT/SERVICE PROVIDER/ETC.], I’ve seen first-hand how devastating it can be when babies lack the support they need to become healthy, happy adults. [INSERT EXAMPLE]. [STATE] can do better for our babies and toddlers.
According to the State of Babies Yearbook: 2021, [INSERT STATE DATA] percent of babies in [STATE] were living in poverty before the COVID-19 crisis, and we know that families are struggling more now than ever as they face the economic impact of the pandemic. 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.
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. Recovery from the pandemic, which has exposed our frayed systems for children and families, presents a real opportunity in [STATE] to rebuild with stronger policies built on the science of brain development and budgets that put babies and families first. 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.]
The future of our nation depends on how we treat babies and their families today. We can’t afford to squander the potential of a single child if our nation is to fully recover from the pandemic and be successful. What happens now is up to us.