National Report Ranks NC on Health, Family and Education Measures for Babies and Toddlers

The recently-released 2019 State of Babies Yearbook by national organization Zero to Three provides a snapshot of how North Carolina’s babies and toddlers are doing. The report assesses states on a series of 31 health, family and education data indicators, rating them on each indicator on the following scale:

  • G: Getting Started
  • R: Reaching Forward
  • O: Improving Outcomes
  • W: Working Effectively

Of the 31 indicators, North Carolina is ranked lowest (“Getting Started”) on six:

  • Infant mortality rate
  • Babies with low birthweight
  • TANF benefits receipt among families in poverty
  • One adverse childhood experience
  • Potential home visiting beneficiaries served
  • Percent of income-eligible infants/toddlers with Early Head Start access

NC is ranked as “Reaching Forward,” the second-to-lowest category, on eight indicators:

  • Prenatal care received
  • Preventive medical care received
  • Housing instability
  • Crowded housing
  • Two or more adverse childhood experiences
  • Cost of care, as percent of single parent income
  • Percentage of infants/toddlers receiving IDEA Part C services

NC is “Improving Outcomes,” the second-to-highest category, on 12 indicators:

  • Income eligibility limit for pregnant women in Medicaid
  • Infants breastfed at six months
  • Mothers reporting less than optimal mental health
  • Preventive dental care received
  • Uninsured low-income infants/toddlers
  • Infants ever breastfed
  • Family resilience
  • Parent reads to baby every day
  • Parent sings to baby every day
  • Cost of care, as percent of married family income
  • Low/moderate income infants/toddlers in Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) funded care
  • Infants/toddlers with developmental delay

NC is “Working Effectively,” the highest category, on five indicators:

  • Food security
  • Received recommended vaccines
  • Safe neighborhoods
  • Infant/toddler maltreatment rate
  • Developmental screening received

For more detail on the data indicators and sources, see the full Yearbook report. You can also view North Carolina’s full profile.

Many of the data indicators assessed in the 2019 Yearbook are also included in the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success Framework. The Pathways Framework includes measures across the health, family and education sectors that research shows impact third-grade reading outcomes. 

Think Babies™ NC, funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative and Zero To Three, aims to improve outcomes for North Carolina’s babies and toddlers by advancing policies that support their healthy development, families and communities, and early learning. Think Babies™ NC is aligned with the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative and the NC Early Childhood Action Plan. Think Babies™ NC is led by the NC Early Education Coalition with support from the NC Early Childhood Foundation and a Leadership Team of state and local organizations focused on advancing public awareness and policy solutions for infants, toddlers, and their families.