From the introduction: "The first 1000 days of life are a sensitive period for infant brain and biological development, which affects long-term cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional growth. This timeframe is even more critical for Black babies living in the U.S.: The legacy of enslavement and racism embedded in state and federal policies in housing, education, healthcare, the justice system, policing, politics and other facets of American society, has caused considerable damage to Black people, including their young children.
Despite the legal sanctioning of racism within these state and federal policies, Black families have shown remarkable fortitude and have fought back against racism and discrimination—both individually and as a community. This brief uses a framework for supporting Black families, as well as an established compilation of child and family policies produced by the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center , to answer two questions:
- Based on the research review by the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, which policy approaches have the potential to protect, promote, and preserve Black families and babies?
- Beyond the work of the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, what additional policies and programs need research review to build a more complete picture of the levers available to state and federal officials to protect, promote, and preserve Black families and babies?
These questions guide our understanding about the ways in which policies can directly address racism and its consequences in order to provide Black families and their babies with equitable opportunities to thrive."