How are [STATE]’s babies faring? The State of Babies Yearbook: 2021 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 pandemic will have lasting effects on these children, their families, and our nation as we recover and rebuild.
The State of Babies Yearbook: 2021, a national and state resource from ZERO TO THREE, with data and indicator analysis powered by Child Trends, provides a snapshot of how babies are faring across nearly 60 data points in areas essential for a good start in life: Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, [STATE] ranked as a/near top/bottom state for babies [UP/DOWN FROM LAST YEAR IF APPLICABLE].
According to the Yearbook, [INSERT STATE DATA] percent of babies in [STATE] were living in poverty before the COVID-19 crisis and we know that families are now struggling more 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.
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.
It has never been more urgent to Think Babies and make the potential of every baby a national priority. In order to meet babies’ critical needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and build stronger systems for the future we need to [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.]
We encourage you to share this information with your partners and networks and join the team that is fighting for our future. Learn more about Think BabiesTM and how you can get involved.