Our Team

Mackenzie Whipps, PhD CLC

Senior Research Associate

Mackenzie is a Senior Research Associate with the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center. In her role, she conducts rigorous policy and program evaluations to expand the existing evidence base for policies and scalable programs that promote the health and wellbeing of children and families.

As a Community Health Scientist, she combines formal training in Community Psychology, Human Development, Political Science, and Maternal-Infant Health with more than a decade of experience as a birth worker (including clinical experience as a childbirth educator, birth and postpartum doula, and Certified Lactation Counselor). A major focus of her research to date has examined the system-level determinants of health and wellbeing for families with infants in the United States, primarily during the ‘childbearing year’. Her research aims to shift the conversation around positive infant development, maternal mental health, and family wellbeing to center the voices and experiences of those who are vulnerable to structural inequities, using innovative qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method analytic techniques to best tell their stories.

Mackenzie holds a doctoral degree from New York University’s Steinhardt School, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She resides in Walnut Creek, California with her husband and two children. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, reading spy novels, and bird watching.

Authored Content

Throughout the nation, states are struggling to keep their child care industries afloat. Decades of underinvestment and a global pandemic threatened a near-total collapse of the system, held off only by temporary pandemic-era funding that
In some states, a parent working a full-time minimum wage job can obtain a subsidy and comfortably afford child care. In other states, especially in a locality without enough subsidized slots, almost all of that
Demand for subsidized child care slots is already very high. State subsidy programs simply do not meet the need. In many states, families are left lingering on waiting lists—unable to work or forced to use