The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center aims to address inequities by advancing research and identifying state policy solutions to reduce disparities


Nashville, TN — Through its Equity Initiative, the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center will provide guidance to states on how they can implement effective state-level policies that promote greater equity among infants, toddlers, and their families. The Center is grateful to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that has provided $400,000 to support the initiative over the next two years.

“Stemming from long-standing racism and severe racial and ethnic inequality in opportunity, children of color are disproportionately exposed to early adversity, such as poverty, food insecurity, violence, and family separation,” Dr. Cynthia Osborne, the Center’s Executive Director explains, adding that “these disparities are reflected in poorer health, economic, and behavioral outcomes across the life course.”

Through a review of the most rigorous evidence to date and incorporating the voices of those with lived experience and expertise in policy implementation, the Center will use an equity-focused policy evidence review process to better understand the historical and theoretical context of the policies, gain insight on the racial and ethnic impact of the policies, and identify the administrative and structural barriers that limit the fair and just access to opportunities for young children to thrive.

Working collaboratively with state leaders and other experts in policy research, the Center will then identify states who are leaders in promoting greater equity in order to identify and illustrate the policy levers states can implement to promote more equitable access, use, experience, and outcomes for families of color.

“This effort will allow us to provide state leaders with evidence-based and experience-informed policy solutions that will help reduce disparities among children and families across the country,” Dr. Osborne says.

The Center is hiring for Senior Equity Associates to lead this work. We are looking for people who can serve as subject matter experts in equity, diversity, and inclusion as it relates to one or more of the following policy areas: 1) child and parent health, 2) economic and family supports, and 3) early care and learning. The associates will be responsible for conducting rigorous, equity-focused evidence reviews, identifying effective state policy levers that promote equity, and serving as a resource to state policy leaders.  

If you or someone you know might be interested in applying, check out the job posting to learn more.

About the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center 

The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, at Vanderbilt University‘s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, translates research on the best public investments into state policy actions that produce results for young children and society. Our team of researchers and nonpartisan policy experts work with policymakers, practitioners, and advocates to navigate the evidence of what works, set priorities, act with confidence, and analyze results for continuous improvement. We help connect the complex social, economic, and health needs of families that support effective child development in the earliest years—seeking effective policies for each and looking at how all can work together for the greatest impact.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation 

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit


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