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New Report Calls on California’s Leaders to Prioritize Infants and Toddlers

March 1, 2017


OAKLAND, Calif.—  In California, the most populous and diverse state in the country and the sixth largest economy in the world, 62 percent of babies are born into low-income families each year. The challenges facing California’s youngest children are complex, as are solutions to providing them with the support they need.

A new report, Starting Now: A Policy Vision for Supporting the Healthy Growth and Development of Every California Baby, released today by Children Now, outlines policy solutions for state and local leaders to ensure babies and toddlers—particularly those of color and those born into low income-families, who represent the majority of California’s babies and toddlers—have the supports they so desperately need so that California’s kids and the state itself can have a successful future.

Starting Now delivers a policy roadmap to establishing a child-centered, comprehensive and sustainable network of quality services and supports that will ensure all kids from before birth to age three have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential. The report’s policy roadmap takes a whole-child approach to policy solutions, focusing on the full spectrum of issues affecting children’s health, welfare, and education.

“California’s policymakers are underinvesting in the state’s youngest children, to the detriment of their health and welfare, and California’s economy. Our state’s babies and toddlers deserve better, and Starting Now represents an opportunity to solve some complex challenges together—policymakers, state leaders, providers, and parents,” Children Now President Ted Lempert said.

“In a state known for innovation, we must come together to make sure that every California baby has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential—starting now.”



About Children Now: Children Now is a nonpartisan umbrella research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children's health, education, and well-being in California. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a grassroots network of more than 1,900 business, education, parent, civil rights, faith, and community-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more about us at

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