Act Now: We Cannot Go Backwards in the Budget for Babies (All States)

As Congress makes final decisions about the budget for Fiscal Year 20 (FY20), babies need us to act! Earlier this year, the House took important steps to make major investments in FY20 for programs and services that help babies get off to a strong start. But the Senate is poised to take a step back from adequately funding these crucial programs for babies. Complete the information below to send an email to your Members of Congress, asking them to Think Babies and Act!TM and prioritize babies as they make crucial funding decisions for FY20. 

Poverty Hurts Babies' Brain Development - Invest in Programs that Work (All States)

Yesterday, the Census Bureau released new data showing that nearly 1 in 5 American babies and toddlers was living in poverty in 2018. While poverty rates decreased slightly since 2017, babies and toddlers, whose brains are growing faster than at any later point in life, are still the age group most likely to live in poverty. Babies and toddlers of color are faring even worse, with 34 percent of young Black children and 25 percent of young Hispanic children living in poverty, compared to nine percent of young White children. When babies and toddlers live in poverty, their brain development and future success are at risk. Tell your Members of Congress that they must Think Babies and Act! by investing in proven programs, including Early Head Start and the Child Care and Development Fund, that help protect the youngest children from the harmful effects of poverty and ensure that all babies have the opportunity to thrive. 

I Pledge to Think Babies (All States)

Thousands of advocates for babies and toddlers have pledged to Think Babies™ and join the team that’s fighting to make the potential of every baby our national priority. You can Be a Big Voice for Little KidsTM by getting to know your Members of Congress and offering to be a resource for them on issues that impact their youngest constituents and their families. Whether you are an early childhood professional, a parent, or an advocate – your voice is crucial in making sure that your Members of Congress know what babies and toddlers need to thrive. 

Tell Congress to Maintain Protections for Babies at the Border (All States)

ZERO TO THREE recently joined 20 other organizations on an amicus brief to adamantly oppose the Administration’s new Rule to remove the protections for migrant children in the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA). Unless the courts or Congress act, by the end of October, the new Rule will supersede the FSA, wiping away our country’s commitment to ensuring that migrant children in government custody are treated humanely and released quickly. The new Rule will erase basic protections for migrant children, allowing them to be incarcerated indefinitely in detention facilities with no outside oversight. Research shows that even a short time in detention is harmful to children and is profoundly inadequate to nurture the health and well-being of a young child. 

Babies at the border need your voice today! Email your Members of Congress now and urge them to take a stand for babies.

For more information on the FSA, go to www.zerotothree.org/flores.

Take Action for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (All States)

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives took an important step toward supporting the healthy development of babies and toddlers when it passed its FY2020 Appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which doubled funding for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Promotion, Intervention and Treatment grants. Now it’s the Senate’s turn. 

We need your voice to urge the Senate to #ThinkBabiesAndAct! Email your Senators and remind them of the importance of investing in this important program for babies and toddlers in 2020.

Take Action TODAY for Child Care, Early Head Start, and Early Intervention (All States)

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives took an important step toward expanding access to key programs for children and families when it passed its FY2020 Appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which included a $2.4 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, a $1.5 billion increase for Head Start, including $525 million for Early Head Start, and a $21.3 million increase for Part C Early Intervention. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to ensure babies and families have what they need to thrive.

We need your voice to urge the Senate to #ThinkBabiesAndAct! Email your Senators and remind them of the importance of investing in key programs for young children in FY2020.

Urge Congress to RISE for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health! (All States)

In a time when many communities do not have infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) practitioners to serve the needs of children and families, the Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (“RISE”) from Trauma Act (S. 1770, H.R. 3180) is intended to increase the numbers of trained practitioners able to provide developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed mental health services to young children. Reach out to your Members of Congress today and encourage them to support the RISE from Trauma Act.

Invest in America's Future with Early Head Start (All States)

As Early Head Start celebrates 25 years, we urge Congress to expand on its promise and reach more babies and families living in poverty. Evidence-based and community-driven, Early Head Start uses a comprehensive, two-generational approach to support healthy prenatal outcomes, build strong parent-child relationships, and enhance the intellectual, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers to promote later success. But 93% of eligible infants and toddlers for EHS are not currently being served. Take action below!

Encourage Congress to learn about how babies are faring in your state (All States)

ZERO TO THREE and Child Trends’ State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 provides policymakers the information they need to advance national and state policies to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Share the State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 with your Members of Congress and encourage them to learn more about how your state measures up on nearly 60 indicators that are essential to ensuring babies have what they need to thrive.