By Cody Uhing, First Five Years Fund, April 26, 2021
ZERO TO THREE released the State of Babies Yearbook: 2021, an in-depth report on how state and federal policies and the COVID-19 pandemic impact the lives of families and their young babies. Looking at every state and the District of Columbia, the report, supplemented by data from the Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development Early Childhood (RAPID-EC) Household Survey, shows that even before the pandemic families with young children were vulnerable to crises. The pandemic has laid bare the disparities that have long existed in America and exacerbated the challenges facing babies, who have been hardest hit by the health crisis.
In comparing national and state-by-state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers, the report concludes that for the 12 million infants and toddlers in the United States, the state where they are born and live during their first three years makes a big difference in their chance for a strong start in life.