State of Babies Yearbook: 2020

Telling the story of America’s babies is more important than ever. In 2019, ZERO TO THREE unveiled the inaugural State of Babies Yearbook which revealed that the state where a baby is born makes a big difference in their chance for a strong start in life. New data this year shows significant disparities in opportunity for our youngest children throughout the country. In every state—even among those with relatively good outcomes—babies of color, babies in families of low-income, and those living in urban and rural areas face inequities that challenge the foundational brain development of the earliest years. As our country faces an unprecedented crisis as a result of COVID-19, policymakers and advocates can use the data to advance policies that produce the near-term support and long-term stability that babies and families need.

The need to make the potential of every baby our national priority has never been more urgent. The State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 shows that the status quo for babies and families falls short and leaves them particularly vulnerable to crises, whether they be national or personal. Simply returning to the systems and policies that existed before the COVID-19 crisis is unacceptable. To do better for our babies and our nation’s future, we need Congress and state leaders to make babies a priority through policies built on the science of brain development and budgets that put babies and families first.

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