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The first years of a child鈥檚 life set the course for all that follows. High-quality prenatal care and health care are vital to children鈥檚 brain development and lifelong health. Yet in the United States, pregnant people, children, and families in marginalized communities experience negative social determinants of health (SDOH)鈥攈armful in the places where they live, learn, work, and play鈥攖hat endanger health and well-being. And far too many pregnant people, children, and families face severe inequities, such as poor health care, systemic racism, and intergenerational trauma. For Black and Native American communities in the United States, health inequities result in devastatingly and unacceptably .

Nationwide, EDC works to eradicate health inequities, inform policy, and strengthen systems to improve maternal and child health for all families. Families with lived experience of negative SDOH are our primary and pivotal partners in change. Working closely with federal agencies and private foundations, we build the capacity of home visitors, community leaders, early educators, and social services and health care professionals to address negative SDOH. Our national centers and networks guide the use of evidence-based approaches鈥攕uch as quality improvement, community partnerships, and 鈥攖o ensure all pregnant people, children, and families thrive throughout their lives.

Resources

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Through the Home Visiting Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (HV CoIIN), EDC guides Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program awardees in using continuous quality improvement to significantly strengthen their services. Their website offers a Parent Leadership Toolkit, fact sheets and briefs, and journal articles.
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This EDC brief explores the key role that parent-child interaction plays in children鈥檚 development and describes how home visitors can support parent-child interaction.
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This EDC brief spotlights how important it is for new mothers to receive responsive and supportive postpartum care.
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This EDC brief spotlights the challenges that home visiting programs face in recruiting and retaining staff.
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The Children鈥檚 Safety Network (CSN) is a national resource center for the prevention of childhood injuries and violence. The site offers a range of resources for state, territorial, and community maternal and child health programs as well as injury and violence prevention programs. Resources include webinars, factsheets, blog posts, reports, infographics, and resource guides.