Fact Sheet: Babies in the Budget
Rachel Merker (Former Staff)Early Childhood
Federal spending on Infants and Toddlers in Fiscal Year 2019
Infants and Toddlers represent 3.7 percent of the population, but what is their share of federal resources?
A new First Focus analysis creates an estimate of mandatory and discretionary spending on children under the age of 3 in Fiscal Year 2019.
The first three years of life are a critical stage of development. By age three, the human brain has reached 80 percent of its adult volume,i meaning infants and toddlers are undergoing the most rapid physical, cognitive, and emotional development of their lives. As a result, children under the age of three are uniquely vulnerable to long-term harm if exposed to stress, trauma, and other adverse experiences. Disparities in overall health and wellbeing in early childhood can have lifelong ramifications to health, educational attainment, and overall wellbeing. It is critical, therefore, that babies and toddlers have access to resources that support their safety, stability, health, nutrition, and development.