Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) is leading the statewide effort to put “birth-to-3” on the public agenda and bring attention to what infants and toddlers need to thrive: strong families, healthy starts and positive early learning environments. To get more information about ACNJ's advocacy campaign to call on state leaders and decision makers to do more for our youngest children, right from the start, click here.
Working parents sooner or later need to determine who will care for their baby when they return to their jobs, but challenges often arise with both access to child care programs and the costs involved. Because of the rapid and lasting brain development that occurs in babies from birth to three years of age, finding high quality child care that can greatly improve physical, emotional and cognitive outcomes in children is essential for all families in New Jersey.
The health of young children is crucial to their physical and mental development, overall well-being and school readiness. A lack of preventative health care, exposure to adverse experiences and trauma, and health problems that go untreated contribute to physical and emotional instability, school absenteeism, serious illnesses, and even long-term disabilities and lasting damage. Through equal access to health care, maternal health care and early screening and assessments for children, stakeholders can make significant progress towards ensuring the good health of every child.
Denise Rodgers, MD, Vice Chancellor, Interprofessional Programs at Rutgers University, discusses the impact of trauma on child development and the critical period of development between the ages of birth to three.
This February, Governor Phil Murphy signed an expansion of New Jersey’s paid family leave program into law. Building on the state’s existing family leave program, the new bill strengthens benefits and job protections for New Jersey residents who need time off from work to take care of a newborn child or an ill family member.
New Jersey’s infant mortality rate is among the lowest in the nation, but a black infant in the state is three times more likely to die prior to their first birthday than a white baby. After receiving a federal grant last year, $4.3 million was awarded to six community-based organizations to implement maternal and child programs across the state to begin to eliminate these disparities.
Becoming a parent is a time of joy and excitement, but also one of change and uncertainty. Most new parents need help and guidance during this momentous time. Home visitation programs can provide helpful information and assistance to pregnant women and new parents to help babies grow up healthy and safe.
Research has shown that experiencing repeated adversity as a child can lead to long-lasting effects into adulthood. Children who are exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can exhibit physical, emotional and psychological problems later on that can impact nearly every aspect of life. Toxic stress can affect how our brains develop and even our biological and genetic makeup.
Carole Johnson, NJ Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, explains how child care subidies work in New Jersey.
Dr. Arturo Brito, Executive Director of the Nicholson Foundation, explains the importance of making sure children have positive experiences from birth to three, the negative impact toxic stressors can have on a child, and how the state is working to improve the black infant mortality rate in New Jersey.
Steve Adubato and Senator Joseph Vitale (D) – NJ, Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, discuss the importance of high quality prenatal care and child care to help a child meet his best potential.
On July 30th, Advocates for Children of New Jersey released its very first New Jersey Babies Count report on the current well-being of children zero to three years old in the state. According to the data outlined in the report, a significant number of New Jersey’s children face obstacles that threaten their future potential.
New Jersey lawmakers, child advocates, babies and parents joined forces at the Strolling Thunder™ New Jersey rally in Trenton on May 21 to bring attention to the needs of young children in our state. Strolling Thunder is a national initiative to promote greater public investments in early childhood such as paid family leave, affordable, quality child care, and access to healthcare for expectant mothers and infants.
Cutting-edge policy ideas on how to improve early childhood education and close persistent educational achievement gaps in New Jersey were discussed at the Cradle To Kindergarten book signing and roundtable discussion on January 29, 2018.
The Star Ledger published this piece, co-written by Cecilia Zalkind, of Advocates for Children of New Jersey, a partnering organization of Right From the Start NJ. Ms. Zalkind, and her co-author, Jennifer Santana, of the Coalition of Infant/Toddler Educators, support raising the subsidy for infant care in New Jersey, alerting lawmakers how inaction on this matter would affect all children statewide.
Steve Adubato, PhD, of the Caucus Educational Corporation, a collaborator of Right From the Start NJ, wrote this piece for New Jersey Monthly, detailing the necessity of our public awareness campaign. In the article, Steve spotlights the crucial need for early education and high-quality care for children ages zero to three across New Jersey.
The Star-Ledger has featured an editorial on Right From the Start NJ, written by leaders of two of our partnering organizations. Dr. Arturo Brito, executive director of The Nicholson Foundation, and Curtland E. Fields, President and CEO of The Turrell Fund, discussed the importance of the very first years of a child's life, encouraging investment and commitment to high-quality care for New Jersey's youngest residents.
Peter Chen, Staff Attorney of the Advocates for the Children of New Jersey (acnj.org), spoke at the “Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey” conference about the partnership that makes up Right From the Start New Jersey, its statewide campaign, and long term goals.