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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, policymakers, and other stakeholders 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, Part C Early Intervention, child welfare, early care and education policy, parenting and family supports, and public benefits. 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 responsive support.

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 designing and implementing policies that strengthen states’ Part C Early Intervention Programs.

NCCP works with states on policies that help ensure infants’ and toddlers’ access to Part C Early Intervention Services, and strengthen the financing and quality of services.

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

Assist in developing state family economic support (public benefits) policies that reduce family poverty and increase family economic mobility.

NCCP can provide state-specific options for improving policies that reduce families’ economic hardship, including TANF and SNAP, and promote families economic mobility by reducing public benefit cliffs. NCCP’s family economic supports (FES) responsive support includes analysis of state policies and modeling of benefits that can result from reforms, provision of examples from other states, and exploration of messaging and evidence that can help make the case for stronger FES supports for families with young children.

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 in each state 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.  The resource also includes evidence summaries for each policy benchmark and links to current policy reports relevant to each policy.

On the Ground:

  • In Maine, NCCP’s state-wide survey of ECE programs’ needs and use of exclusionary practices supported work that led to legislation establishing a state infant-early childhood mental health program.
  • In Illinois and Hawai’i, NCCP is helping advocates and state leaders examine other states’ approaches to expulsion prevention policy and ECE program supports.
  • In Georgia, NCCP helped draft a policy brief used to advocate for legislation that led to a planning initiative and expansion of Medicaid covered mental health services for infants.
  • NCCP helped Alabama state leaders design a pilot to increase the capacity of the state’s Part C Early Intervention program to address infant and toddler mental health needs. The pilot infant-early childhood consultation program is now offered state-wide to Part C Early Intervention programs. 

“NCCP helped us realize the vision for the brief, providing valuable help with background research, state examples, and framing the issues; they continued to provide rapid responses when we requested policy examples and resources from other states as we developed state-specific policy and guidance for Georgia.” 

Callan Wells, Senior Health Policy Manager, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students