Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Infants and Toddlers

There are more than five and a half million infants and toddlers in low-income families, nearly one-half of them living in poverty. Many of these families face multiple demographic and familial risks.

Scientists who study brain development are finding that the earliest relationships and experiences that a baby has help set the stage for life-long emotional and other competencies. Yet investments in high-quality infant and toddler care, including supports to informal care providers, lag, and state policies to support parents vary.

Communities are developing programs to meet the needs of parents with infants and toddlers, with some programs targeting higher-risk babies, but sustaining the costs of these programs is challenging.

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