Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap 2023

Rigorous scientific evidence informs our annual policy guide, which gives states actionable solutions to improve outcomes for all young children.
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How do you know if a state policy truly improves outcomes for infants, toddlers, and their families? We reviewed thousands of research studies for you.
We conduct original research—including program evaluation, policy analyses, benefit-cost analyses, and mixed methods studies—to build the evidence.
To support lawmakers and advocates, we offer research and evaluation, data and analyses, presentations, testimony, agenda development, and more.

We aim to accelerate states’ implementation of evidence-based policies that help all children thrive from the start.

Who We Are

We are a nonpartisan research center at Vanderbilt University. We focus on the rigorous evidence connecting brain science with state policies and programs.

What We Do

We inform lawmakers, agencies, advocates, and academics about policies to help families thrive–while growing states’ health, safety, and prosperity.

Why prenatal to 3?

The first three years of life have a powerful impact on the future wellbeing of every person. Families can benefit from a strong early childhood system of care.

The Latest

States and community organizations can increase awareness of credits. Increasingly, the state and federal government use tax credits, such as the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit, to support families with low
Evaluating Texas’s in-kind and monetary assistance during COVID-19 To promote nurturing and responsive parent-child relationships and healthy home environments, states can offer home visiting programs to expectant and new parents with young children. During the
State leaders can significantly increase the number of children eligible for child care subsidies across the country by expanding income eligibility thresholds. The level of income at which a family becomes initially eligible for child
Barriers to health care, high-quality health insurance, and parental leave work together to leave families and children vulnerable during the perinatal period. These barriers can shape life-long outcomes, particularly for children from historically marginalized groups.
Did you know state policies play an important role in reducing child maltreatment? Rapid neurological development makes children especially susceptible to harmful stressors, such as maltreatment, during the prenatal-to-3 period. Though we may expect prevention
Rigorous research finds that statewide paid family and medical leave (PFML) policies have broad beneficial impacts to children, parents and families, and the labor force. This brief provides examples of the impacts of state PFML