An overview of birth-through-eight provisions in Governor Cooper's 2019-21 budget proposal.
This issue brief shares the results of a self-assessment of state-level policies around supporting babies' and toddlers' health and on-track development. Research demonstrates that when these policies are in place, babies and toddlers are more likely to thrive.
NCECF presented on the Pathways model at the 2019 Public Health Leaders' Conference in Raleigh.
Supporting pregnant women at work reduces infant mortality, improves maternal and infant health, and reduces doctor and hospital visits. When children have good health in utero and good birth outcomes, they are more likely to have good physical health and on-track development during childhood and throughout life.
Providing new parents with the opportunity to care for a child benefits everyone involved. The first weeks and months of a child's life are critical to development. Because of the important role of parents in this early period, paid family leave can have effects on relationship-building, parental involvement, health, and well-being that last throughout a child’s life.
High-quality, affordable health care helps parents work and support their children. Parents can’t get to work, or take care of their children, when they’re not healthy. Unfortunately, in North Carolina approximately 500,000 North Carolinians don’t earn enough to buy private health insurance, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. In North Carolina, over 15% of parents of infants and toddlers are uninsured, and closing this “coverage gap” would provide over 100,000 parents the improved health and access to the care they need to thrive, which in turn improves children’s health and development.12 To improve the health of current and prospective parents and their children, North Carolina should take advantage of available federal funding to expand access to insurance coverage.
A stable, secure relationship with a nurturing, caring adult is a key factor in young children’s development. Parents play the lead role in their children’s healthy development, but all parents are stretched in the earliest months and years of their children’s lives. Home visiting programs, which match parents with trained professionals to provide in-home support during pregnancy and throughout their child’s first years, are an effective method to support families, particularly when they are part of a comprehensive and coordinated system of services.
During the first years of life, babies’ experiences are built into their bodies—shaping the brain’s architecture and building the foundation for future learning, behavior and health. Yet current and historic laws, policies and practices—both official and unofficial—have created and maintain widespread barriers to opportunity and success for babies and toddlers of color.
This brief disaggregates data on key NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading shared measures of success to shine a light on the current disparities in outcomes—and opportunity—among groups of young children and their families.
Think Babies™ NC seeks to advance policies that support the healthy development of North Carolina’s babies and toddlers. It 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.
Find out the chronic absence rate at your child's school, compare rates across NC school districts, or see how NC stacks up against other states, with this interactive chronic absence map from The Hamilton Project.