Home visiting, infant and toddler care, healthy development supports, and pre-K make up a continuum of early care and education that enables children to have a strong and safe start. These services can prevent maltreatment and stabilize families that are vulnerable by furthering a child’s healthy development, supporting parents’ ability to work and connecting families to critical resources and services.
Families with young children—both at risk of maltreatment and served by the child welfare system—stand to gain a lot from a strengthened and more accessible birth-to-five continuum of early childhood supports. All pregnant women need prenatal information, healthy child development must be nurtured, and families need economic resources. A community investment in early childhood provides a way to meet these needs that more stable families more easily secure and sets children on a path to that stability.