2023 National Prenatal-to-3 Research to Policy Summit


Thursday, October 12, 2023

Thousands of state lawmakers and advocates, researchers, and practitioners heard which states did the most to help young children and their families thrive in 2023, and learned about the newest research informing prenatal-to-3 evidence-based policymaking.



Debra Fitzpatrick

Director of Policy and Research, Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota
As Director of Policy and Research, Debra collaborates with legislators, coalitions, partners and community to advance research-based policies that ensure every child has a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota.

Matt Gross

Assistant Secretary of Government Affairs, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
In his role at DHHS, Matt has led negotiations on numerous topics including Medicaid expansion, Medicaid managed care transformation, behavioral health reform, early childhood education, COVID-19 relief packages, and clean water policies. He holds a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in administration, planning, and public policy from Virginia Commonwealth University. He also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from North Carolina State University.

Cynthia Osborne, PhD

Executive Director and Founder, Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Osborne is an appointed member of the National Academies of Sciences Committee to Reduce Child Poverty by Half in Ten Years. Osborne has extensive experience leading long-term evaluations of state and national programs, with the aim of helping organizations understand what works, and how to ensure sustainable implementation of effective policies.

Aly Richards

CEO, Let’s Grow Kids
Let’s Grow Kids is a statewide organization leading the campaign to solve Vermont’s child care crisis by 2025. This year, Aly and Let’s Grow Kids, along with the 40,000 supporters who make up Vermont’s Child Care Campaign, made history by passing the 2023 Child Care Bill (now Act 76) into law. This comprehensive new law is not only a first-of-its-kind for Vermont and the nation, it also changes the trajectory of the state through long-term, public investment in our state’s child care system.

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Cynthia Osborne discusses the work of the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, which focuses on building the evidence base for effective state policies to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, and their families. Read the full article
Vanderbilt University’s Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center (PN-3) just issued its annual State Policy Roadmap, exploring ways that the states (and D.C.) can improve conditions so infants and toddlers can thrive. The Roadmap focuses on 12 solutions shown
Paid family leave is one of 12 evidence-based policies in our 2023 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap, which details states’ progress toward adopting and implementing policies that effectively improve child and family wellbeing . As of