On Thursday, June 11, Zero to Three released the State of Babies Yearbook: 2020, a comprehensive report and advocacy tool that tells the story of how the United States’ babies are faring and provides a clear view of the significant disparities in opportunity for the youngest children throughout the country.

Speakers included Myra Jones-Taylor from Zero to Three and Wes Moore from Robin Hood. In addition, Strolling Thunder families from across the country shared their current pandemic experiences. They discussed the State of Babies Yearbook 2020 data and how the coronavirus pandemic has exposed existing disparities and structural barriers.

The State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 shows that the state in the U.S. where a baby is born impacts their chance for a strong start in life. By nearly every measure across all states, children living in poverty and children of color face the biggest obstacles, such as low birth weight, unstable housing, and limited access to quality early learning experiences. The report further highlights significant disparities that begin before birth, especially for Black children, driven by systemic racism and social injustices.

In addition, the 2020 State of Babies Yearbook includes a new brief—Maternal and Child Health Inequities Emerge Even Before Birth—that examines the serious disparities in maternal health and birth outcomes among babies and families of color. Sixteen new and modified indicators provide additional information on maternal and child health, permanency in child welfare, early intervention for developmental delays, and child care quality.

Some key data points to keep in mind to reflect on the U.S. babies are:
• 51% of babies are children of color
• 20 % of babies are living in poverty
• 42% of babies live in families with low-income
• 8.6% of young children living in rural areas
• 15.5% of babies live in crowded housing
• 8% of infants and toddlers have two or more ACEs
• 20.2% of babies have entered the child welfare system

Good Health, Strong Families, and Positive Early Learning Experiences are the framework that supports the understanding of the state of babies and are the building blocks for a strong start in life. All babies require healthy development in each of these domains to reach their full potential. The first three years of a child’s life matters more than any other period in their lifetime because it is when a baby’s brain creates the most neural connections and develops the fastest. The time to make every baby our national priority starts now, for more information and to see how your state ranks: State of Babies Yearbook 2020