There’s a growing recognition across the country and in Texas that the experiences – positive or negative – during the first few years of childhood provide the foundation for a child’s life for decades to come.
Advocates, policymakers, philanthropists, and community leaders have worked to develop supports for families and children during this critical time, and there is now an opportunity to take those efforts to the next level in Texas.
TexProtects, Texans Care for Children, and Children at Risk are launching a new effort to collaborate with other Texas organizations and leaders in developing a focused Prenatal to Three (PN-3) Infant Toddler policy agenda.
The PN-3 policy and advocacy planning process offers an opportunity to engage early childhood stakeholders and statewide coalitions in a shared effort to determine how we can best raise awareness about the importance of children’s early years, identify a shared vision and goals for a PN-3 policy agenda, coordinate advocacy strategies for the 2019 Texas legislative session, and keep a focus on equity and inclusion in all advocacy and policy plans.
The goal of the planning process is to build support specifically for the following three early childhood initiatives:
- Expansion of a “universal connection” system in Texas (such as the Family Connects model) to assess, screen, and refer families to support services in the postpartum period or early childhood years
- Increase access to high-quality home visiting programs for pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers; and
- Increase access to affordable, high quality child care for infants and toddlers
This is the start of what we hope to become greater coordination and broad support for a prenatal to three shared policy vision. The kick-off meeting is on September 14.