Promoting Young Children's Health and Development: Taking Stock of State Policies

William J. Schneider; Sheila Smith; Dionna Walters; Janice L. Cooper

Promoting Young Children's Health and Development: Taking Stock of State Policies
Schneider, William J.
Smith, Sheila
Walters, Dionna
Cooper, Janice L.
National Center for Children in Poverty
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Young children's health is essential to their overall development, well-being, and school readiness. Untreated health problems and a lack of preventive care contribute to higher rates of serious illness, absenteeism in preschool, physical and emotional distress, and even long-term disability. At a historic moment when the passage of federal health care reform promises significant improvements in health care access for many Americans, it is important to take stock of how well states are currently meeting the health needs of young children in low-income families. This brief presents information from NCCP's Improving the Odds for Young Children project about state policy choices in the following areas that affect the health and well-being of children, ages birth to 5: access to health care and continuity of care; maternal health care; and preventive screening and assessment. Relevant components of health care reform legislation are considered in a set of recommendations for meeting the short and long-term health care needs of young, low-income children.
Public health
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