Birth to Three Archive 2014


The 18th Annual Birth to Three Institute (BTT) was a three-day event designed to enhance the quality of services for expectant parents, infants, toddlers, and families. Explore the plenary sessions and webinars below by topic. They may be helpful to: Early Head Start (EHS), Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start, child care, and family child care staff; training and technical assistance providers; and the broader early childhood community.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, Early Head Start National Resource Center

Available at:

Prenatal Brain Development: Nurturing Babies in a Healthy Environment Webcast

Brain development starts at conception. The mother and fathers emotional and physical well-being is critical for a baby’s healthy brain. In work with expectant families, Early Head Start staff have an incredible opportunity to influence brain development at a crucial time. This plenary describes the foundational growth and development of the prenatal brain, the value of early intervention, and offers insight in the many factors that impact long-term health and learning.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center and the Early Head Start National Resource Center

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The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start: First Annual Report | Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation | Administration for Children and Families


The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start (MIHOPE-Strong Start), developed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), funded by CMS, and implemented in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), uses a rigorous random assignment design to examine the effects of home visiting programs on birth outcomes and maternal and infant health and health care. The study will also collect and analyze rich information on local implementation processes. This report includes a description of the study and the similarities and differences between the two home visiting models that are included in the study: Healthy Families America (HFA) and Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP).

Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families

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Pediatrics: Home Visiting and Early Childhood


We are pleased to present this special supplement on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) are the primary federal agencies responsible for implementing the MIECHV program. Through the Affordable Care Act, MIECHV provides an unprecedented opportunity to support states and communities in their efforts to implement evidence-based home visiting services for our most vulnerable children and families. The home visiting services being offered to at-risk families in the 56 participating states and territories, and 24 tribal communities, provide invaluable information, guidance, and referrals related to parenting, early child development, health, and school readiness. Moreover, this home visiting investment provides states and local communities with the ability to integrate early childhood systems to ensure that all of our children are healthy and ready to learn.

Pediatricians are integral partners with us in ensuring the success of the MIECHV program. As the health care system is transforming under the opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act, we are committed to supporting the important work of health care practitioners caring for children and families. Both the HRSA and ACF are committed to supporting the vital work of the pediatric care community in ensuring the health and development of our most precious resource, our nation’s children.

The HRSA is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. Comprising 6 bureaus and 10 offices, the HRSA provides leadership and financial support to health care providers in every state and US territory. HRSA grantees provide health care to uninsured people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers, and children. The HRSA also supports the training of health professionals and improvements in systems of care in rural communities.

The ACF promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. ACF programs aim to empower families and individuals to increase their economic independence and productivity; encourage strong, healthy, supportive communities that have a positive impact on quality of life and the development of children; create partnerships with front-line service providers, states, localities, and tribal communities to identify and implement solutions that transcend traditional program boundaries; improve access to services through planning, reform, and integration; and address the needs, strengths, and abilities of vulnerable populations, including people with developmental disabilities, refugees, and migrants.

The HRSA and ACF believe that home visiting should be viewed as one of several strategies embedded in a comprehensive, high-quality early childhood system that promotes maternal, infant, and early childhood health, safety, and development, as well as strong parent-child relationships. Together with our state and tribal partners, we envision high-quality, evidence-based home visiting programs as part of an early childhood system for promoting the health and well-being of pregnant women, children through age 5 years, and their families.

Furthermore, we believe that the MIECHV program provides an extraordinary opportunity for collaboration among federal, state, and local agencies to effect changes that will improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations by addressing child development within the framework of life-course development and a socioecological perspective. Life-course development points to broad social, economic, and environmental factors as contributors to poor and unfavorable health and development outcomes for children, as well as to persistent inequalities in the health and well-being of children and families. The socioecological framework emphasizes that children develop within families, families exist within a community, and the community is surrounded by the larger society. These systems interact with and influence each other to either decrease or increase risk factors or protective factors that affect a range of health and social outcomes.

We hope that this special supplement is helpful in highlighting opportunities that home visiting provides to create partnerships with the pediatric community in supporting the nation’s children and families.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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‘Crack baby’ study ends with unexpected but clear result –


Jaimee Drakewood hurried in from the rain, eager to get to her final appointment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Ever since her birth 23 years ago, a team of researchers has been tracking every aspect of her development – gauging her progress as an infant, measuring her IQ as a preschooler, even peering into her adolescent brain using an MRI machine.

Now, after nearly a quarter century, the federally funded study was ending, and the question the researchers had been asking was answered.

Did cocaine harm the long-term development of children like Jaimee, who were exposed to the drug in their mother’s womb?

The researchers had expected the answer would be a resounding yes. But it wasn’t. Another factor would prove far more critical.

via ‘Crack baby’ study ends with unexpected but clear result –

Sensitivity, Screening, and Support: Talking with Expectant Families about Substance Abuse


Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are the leading known cause of mental retardation, and they are entirely preventable. This audio conference discusses the chance Early Head Start staff working with expectant families have to help prevent FASDs. Panelists share insights and strategies about approaching this sensitive topic. They also give guidance on supporting families in making informed, healthy choices around alcohol use during pregnancy.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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Virtual Baby Rally » Learning Happens From The Start

The date for The Virtual Baby Rally will be:
July 8, 2013, 2:00 – 2:30PM (EST)

Event Host:
Soledad O’Brien, Award winning journalist and CEO of Starfish Media Group

Featured Guests:
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Department of Education

Jennifer Garner, Actor and Save the Children Artist Ambassador

Alma Powell, Chair of the Board at America’s Promise Alliance

Laurie Berkner, Children’s Musician

ZERO TO THREE, with more than a dozen co-sponsoring organizations, is hosting Rally4Babies: Learning Happens Right from the Start to rally Americans around early learning policies that focus specifically on babies and toddlers.

The virtual baby rally will be streamed live on YouTube using Google+ Hangouts on Air, and will feature prominent speakers in a live program about why we need our early learning policies to begin at birth. You can participate in the rally from wherever you are by accessing YouTube. The recording of the Virtual Baby Rally will be available after the live event for people who could not participate live. Check this page often for updates!

Source: Rally for Babies

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Listening to Mothers III: New Mothers Speak Out. Report of National Surveys of Women’s Childbearing Experiences.


Childbirth Connection’s ongoing Listening to Mothers Initiative is devoted to un- derstanding experiences and perspectives of childbearing women, newborns, and families and using this knowledge to improve maternity policy, practice, education, and research. Listening to Mothers surveys are central to this initiative. They en- able us to compare actual experiences of childbearing women and newborns to mothers’ values and preferences, as well as to optimal evidence-based care, optimal outcomes, and protections granted by law. Identified gaps present opportunities to improve conditions during this crucial developmental period for about four million mothers and babies annually in the United States…

…Listening to Mothers III (2012), a national survey of women who gave birth in U.S. hospitals in 2011-12, again included both continuing items and new topics of special relevance to the rapidly evolving health and maternity care environments. We recently issued a report with initial results from that survey, focusing especially on pregnancy and birth. We were grateful to again be able to invite initial survey participants to complete a follow-up survey in the early months of 2013. This report presents results of the follow-up survey, drawing on initial survey results as needed. It includes an in-depth national look at women’s experiences in the months after giving birth from the perspective of maternal well-being, baby well-being, family and relationships, and employment and child care. Further, we examined many aspects of women’s views about the quality of maternity care and engaging in their care, and devote a chapter to these subjects. This report also looks at subgroup differences based on the three largest race/ethnicity groupings (white non-Hispanic, black non-Hispanic, and Hispanic women) and beneficiaries of the two largest maternity care payer groups (women covered by private insurance and Medicaid or CHIP, the Child Health Insurance Pro- gram), trends across multiple surveys, and (in the final appendix) some additional items describing pregnancy and birth experiences.

Source: Childbirth Connections

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Childbirth: Maternal Diet Affects Child’s Bone

May 31, 2013

Children born to mothers who get more vitamins from their diets develop stronger bones even years later, a new study shows.

The research followed nearly 3,000 women during their pregnancies and then looked at whether their diets were linked to bone mass in their children later on. The scientists had the women record what they ate each day and measured concentrations of vitamins in their blood. Then, when the children were roughly 6 years old, the researchers carried out imaging tests to assess their bone mass.

The study found that the children whose mothers consumed more protein, phosphorus and vitamin B12 when they were pregnant had the greatest bone mass and bone mineral content. The researchers also found that higher consumption of carbohydrates and greater blood concentrations of homocysteine – an amino acid that accumulates in response to a deficiency in B vitamins – were associated with lower bone mass and mineral content.

Source: New York Times

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17th Annual Virtual Birth to Three Institute: Nurturing the Foundations for Success with Children and Families

May 28 – June 27, 2013

Due to overwhelming demand, additional registration slots have been added for the 17th Annual Virtual Birth to Three Institute (vBTT) webinars, Tracks B – E. Please visit this link to register:

Registration slots are limited and in high demand, so sign up now.

Content Tracks:

  • Track B: Child Health and Prenatal Services
  • Track C: Family and Community Partnerships
  • Track D: Management and Professional Development
  • Track E: Home Visiting and Family Child Care

Who Should Participate?

The vBTT Institute will benefit an array of audience members, including: Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, and American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start program staff, parents, directors, managers, and administrators; T/TA managers; T/TA providers; federal and Regional Office staff; and State Collaboration Offices.

Space is limited. Register today!

17th Annual Virtual Birth to Three Institute