Economic Security

Supporting families’ fundamental needs. 

Family stability is supported when families have access to safe neighborhoods where children can grow and play, and the income they need to meet basic needs such as stable housing, food and nutrition, and diaper supplies. Families need a range of equitable policies that bolster economic security when children are young and their development most sensitive to economic want. Ensuring adequate income is basic to creating the environment in which young children thrive.

Take Action

Tell Congress to #ThinkBabiesAndAct and support the economic security of families with young children! 


Even before the COVID pandemic, 2 in 5 infants and toddlers in the United States already lived in families whose economic security was precarious.


Poverty affects children’s brain development and learning. Children who start out in poverty are more likely to fall behind in self-regulation, learning, memory, and language and emotional control.


Babies in families with low income are 3.5 times more likely to have two or more adverse child experiences.


The expanded Child Tax Credit expanded under COVID relief brought more than three million children out of poverty every month when monthly payments were available.

Policy Solutions At-A-Glance

Create long-term solutions to close the wealth gap starting at birth, including:

  • A permanent, fully refundable Child Tax Credit;
  • Enhanced federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits; and
  • A $15 federal minimum wage.

What it could mean for babies:

These policy solutions could help build a more equitable economic system that would ensure families have enough income to make ends meet and nurture their young children. Economic security policies are foundational to strengthening families with infants and toddlers and help close the wealth gap for the next generation, starting at birth. Helping families meet basic needs such as food and shelter boosts child development by directly providing essential ingredients for health growth and alleviating some of the stress families endure when they are not able to meet their basic needs  

Advocacy Tools & Resources

Think Babies Storybook: Read and share this storybook which features stories from Strolling Thunder™ families and makes the developmental case for the policies babies and families have long waited for: high-quality, affordable child care, the expanded Child Tax Credit, and a national paid family and medical leave program.

Hunger, Poverty, Health, and Federal Nutrition Programs: Use these state fact sheets, from Think Babies and the Food Research Action Center, for national and state-specific rates of hunger and poverty experienced by infants and toddlers as well as the data on the impact of federal programs in the state.

Building Strong FoundationsLearn more about the core policies that support good health, secure and stable families, and positive early learning environments for infants and toddlers.

State of Babies Yearbook: 2022: Use national and state-by-state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers to call on federal, state, and local policymakers to improve outcomes for babies and families.