Poverty is the greatest threat to children’s healthy development. Twenty-five percent of children under age six live in poverty. That’s six million young kids whose parents struggle to afford safe housing, healthy food, and quality early care and learning. Growing up in poverty has long-term consequences for children’s well-being, impacting children’s health, academic achievement, and social-emotional development. The negative effects are greatest when children are young. Docs for Tots believes that families need access to a range of supports in order to be financially secure. Young children’s doctors can connect families with important resources, like tax credits, and be advocates for strengthening supports like family leave insurance. Doctors can also be a powerful voice for drawing attention to the health consequences of child poverty.
As an advocate or policymaker, you can:
- Support investments in income supports for families with young children, like earned income tax credits, child care tax credits, and nutrition assistance
- Expand programs that support parents with young children, like family leave insurance
- Advocate for increased investments in financial counseling to improve families financial health
- Engage doctors as public champions of your advocacy agenda by partnering with Docs for Tots