On August 23, 2023, First Focus on Children and ZERO TO THREE released Babies in the Budget, a new report that examines federal investment in the nation’s youngest children across more than 120 programs.

Their analysis finds that the federal government invests very little in babies and toddlers – the federal share of spending on our youngest is just 1.5% in FY2023 — despite the fact that they make up 3.4% of the U.S. population. This underinvestment is a missed opportunity to nurture the next generation during its most critical period of development and to address economic and social inequities. Federal investments in families with young children have the potential to address inequities and support the strong early foundation babies and toddlers need to succeed in school and as adults.

Additional resources, including a fact sheet and video, are available.