Earlier this month, Zero to Three debuted the State of Babies Yearbook 2020. The Yearbook is a huge collection of data about children 0-3 that has been compiled and organized to allow users to see national trends and trends by state. Data from the Census Bureau and the National Survey of Children’s Health, among others, are used to show profiles of specific indicators that are critical to the healthy development of the very young. Compilations like this one can be extremely valuable to librarians. We can use it to advocate for programs and services, develop initiatives, write grants and obtain other funding and simply be aware of some of the factors that have a big impact on our youngest patrons and their families. It is also an important reminder about how important things like the Census are to gather data – without them, we don’t have a clear picture.
Check out the full workbook at stateofbabies.org. Use the side links to look at national data or find your state. The About Us sections explains where the data came from and the organizations involved. Finally, check out the Virtual Release Video to hear from Myra Jones-Taylor, the Chief Policy Officer of Zero to Three and Wes Moore, author, advocate and the CEO of Robin Hood discuss the overall trends that are impacting families today.
We know high-quality programs and services for young children are important for thriving communities. Awareness of data such as this helps us be informed as we create these programs and services and importantly, gives us backbone to advocate for what we do when questioned by stakeholders. Please feel free to share your favorite data sources in the comments!
Stephanie Smallwood is the early literacy specialist at the Springfield-Greene County Library District in Springfield, Missouri. Smallwood wrote this piece as a member of the ALSC Early Childhood Programs and Services committee.
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: Commitment to Client Group and Outreach & Advocacy.