The national infant and toddler advocacy organization, Zero to Three, has released a state-by-state survey and analysis of state child welfare policies covering very early childhood. Read it here:
Data from Oregon is included in this analysis.
The general findings offer serious challenges:
1. Few states have policies that differentiate services or timelines for infants and toddlers versus older children.
2. Relatively few states have implemented promising approaches to meeting the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers.
3. Given growing awareness about the needs of very young children stemming from neuroscience and child development research, child welfare agencies have a long way to go in aligning policies and practices to ensure that the unique needs of infants and toddlers are met.
The document provides a wide variety of data, as well as, a copy of the survey instrument and a useful index of state-by-state policies. This document will prove helpful to state advocates, as well as, to local Early Childhood Hubs and Collaboratives as they consider avenues for collective action that would enhance early development of children.