Sign if you agree: We must prioritize policies for infants, toddlers, and expectant parents

Babies aren't born Republican or Democrat, and certainly not Independent. Regardless, partisan bickering hinders the passage of policies essential to their well-being.

Children's earliest years are fundamental to their development, so it is vital that young children and their families have access to improved maternal and child health, economic security, and quality, affordable early care and education. The National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers (NCIT) knows these issues are crucial in every single election.

As voters, we have the power to demand a strong start for every child. Now is the time to show our next president that the voters support paid family and medical leave; better health care access; expanded tax benefits that help families; quality, affordable child care; and strong nutrition and programs.

Every child deserves to thrive. For a brighter tomorrow, we must encourage presidential candidates to prioritize policies for infants, toddlers, and expectant parents today.

Sign to show your support for better health care programs for families.
The stakes of the upcoming election are at an all-time high for infants, toddlers, and families across the country. Early childhood issues – from child care, to paid leave, to maternal health, to family economic security, and more – are at an inflection point and require the next administration's immediate action.

As an advocate for the National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers (NCIT), I need to know that you feel the urgency of this moment. I need to know that families, parents, and advocates across the country can count on you to prioritize infants and toddlers in all policies.

When we support our youngest children in their earliest years, infants grow into healthy kids who are confident, empathetic, and ready for school and life — and our communities, workforce, and economy become stronger and more productive.

That's why I am urging you as a presidential candidate to commit to championing prenatal-to-three policies that create and expand systems of support for families—reaching every parent and child.

I am part of a nationwide movement of NCIT advocates standing together to demand that every child has the strong start in life they deserve. The winning candidate needs to take immediate and decisive action to invest in these issues, or our youngest children and families will suffer.

Our movement is committed to holding the president accountable to prioritizing infants, toddlers, and families in all policies! Here are concrete actions you can take to make a difference in some of the critical issues our youngest children face:

Maternal and Child Health

Problem. Maternal and infant mortality are at a crisis point in the United States. Our policy and health systems create and exacerbate racial and economic disparities. They are not built to fully support families or acknowledge the intrinsic link between maternal and infant health — and that costs us in the long run.

Solution. All expectant parents need access to care during and after pregnancy for both physical and mental health. Families need access to regular well-child visits and screenings that give their babies the best start in life. This is our chance to ensure the next generation grows up healthy and prepared to thrive in school and the workforce.

Call to action. Policymakers must invest in comprehensive health policies, expanding Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) access during pregnancy and post-partum and for infants, toddlers, and kids, enhancing culturally sensitive care, and supporting early childhood and family services.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Problem. Only about 25% of U.S. workers have paid leave, forcing many parents to choose between caring for their children and job security.

Solution. Establishing a permanent paid family and medical leave program ensures parents can care for children without jeopardizing their financial and job security. Too many workers are forced to sacrifice their savings or their jobs when they need time off to bond with a new child or care for themselves or their families. All workers, no matter where they live or who their employer is, should have access to paid family and medical leave. Paid leave helps children and families thrive, which improves their overall health and benefits the economy

Call to action. Policymakers should invest in affordable paid leave policies that benefit both employers and employees, covering diverse needs and families and preventing negative consequences for taking leave.

Economic Security

Problem. We put our nation's present and future at risk when high poverty rates impact access to housing, health care, food, clothing, and early childhood education for families with infants and toddlers.

Solution. Targeted interventions in the first three years of life can mitigate negative outcomes, ensuring families have safe housing, food security, and stable income.

Call to action. We need to invest in our future by supporting families with young children and providing access to adequate income, housing, health care, nutritious food (WIC and SNAP), and quality early education.

High-Quality, Affordable Child Care

Problem. Working families, children, early educators, employers and our economy are all harmed because we do not fund child care as a public good.

Solution. We must increase funding for high-quality child care to ensure affordability and access for all families, including those in greatest need.

Call to action. Investing in high-quality, affordable child care now is our chance to make a powerful commitment to our youngest generation and our future workforce.

Early Head Start

Problem. Not every child starts from the same place; nearly 19% of babies in the U.S. live below the poverty line, with their families facing systemic barriers that hinder essential resources babies need to thrive.

Solution. Early Head Start uses federal investments and community resources to support early development and equip parents with skills for their child's future.

Call to action. Policymakers can support infants, toddlers, and their families during a critical time of their development by increasing investments in Early Head Start.
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