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National Center for Children in Poverty

The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) aims to improve the lives of low-income children by partnering with advocates and policymakers to provide research, analyses of policy and policy implementation, and technical assistance.

Key areas of work include infant-early childhood mental health and parent mental health, early intervention, child welfare, early care and education policy, parenting and family supports, and public benefits.

State allies can call on NCCP to:

Assist in efforts to expand infant-early childhood mental health and parent mental health supports in multiple systems (e.g., early Intervention, early care and education, child welfare, home-visiting, pediatric health care).

NCCP has done extensive research on states’ design, financing, and implementation of policies and programs that support infant-early childhood mental health across systems, and can provide research and TA in these areas.

Assist in establishing and implementing policies that reduce or eliminate exclusionary practices (expulsion, suspension) in early care and education programs.

NCCP partners with state advocates and policymakers to conduct research on ECE programs’ use of exclusionary practices and design effective policies that include easily accessible supports for ECE programs, monitoring, attention to eliminating disparities related to children’s race and special needs.

Assist with efforts to promote policies that provide strong, equitable supports for early literacy across systems including early care and education, early Intervention, home visiting, parenting programs, and pediatric settings.

NCCP can work with advocates and policymakers to identify research-informed strategies, including policies related to professional development, parent engagement, supports for bilingual learners, and screening.

Assist in designing and implementing two-generation policies that benefit young children and families in deep poverty and poverty.

NCCP can offer state-specific data on young children and families in deep poverty, racial-ethnic disparities in deep poverty, and recommendations for policies that can help families facing severe economic hardship support their young children’s healthy development while moving toward greater financial security.

Additional Alliance-funded support for state advocacy includes:

  • Development and maintenance of state-by-state early childhood policy profiles. This resource, posted online and maintained yearly, provides a two-generation view of current policies affecting children birth through age eight. The profiles give crucial visibility into each state’s progress in early care and education, health, and parenting and family economic supports.
  • Development and maintenance of the state-by-state Young Child Risk Calculator. The interactive calculator allows users to see the percentage and number of young children in a state, within a specified income group (deep poverty, poverty, low-income) and age range, who are experiencing selected risk factors. This information can be used to see the risk factors that should be targeted by policies for families in different income and child age bands.
  • Preparing multi-state studies and reports. These include:
    • Helping Infants and Toddlers Overcome Early Adversities: Collaboration between Child Welfare and Early Intervention in Three States
    • States’ Growing Commitment to Preventing Young Children’s Expulsion from Early Care and Education Programs: Results of a 50-State Policy Survey
    • Supporting Social-Emotional and Mental Health Needs of Young Children Through Part C Early Intervention: Results of a 50-State Survey