Improving children’s health on the front lines of care
Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts committed to improving children’s health in America.

Learn More

Welfare Cap On Kids Needs To Go

Originally posted by The Boston Globe as a Letter to the Editor.  Kudos for taking a stand in your editorial “Cap on kids a failed welfare experience” (March 7). Massachusetts — it is embarrassing to say — is only one in 17 states…

As affordable housing crisis worsens, Trump proposes more cuts

Originally posted on Curbed.  The cost of fixing the nation’s widening affordable housing shortage measures in the billions of dollars. But if the healthcare costs that come with this lack of housing security are factored in, replenishing…

Trump's housing budget leaves poorest out in the cold, advocates say

Originally published on Reuters.  WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A decade after the housing bubble burst in the United States, affordable homes are available to as little as 20 percent of the poorest families that need them in…

Dr. Eduardo Ochoa's testimony before the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services

On March 12, 2019, Dr. Ochoa testified before the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services for their "Growing a Healthy Next Generation: Examining Federal Child Nutrition Programs" hearing. Click this link for more information on the…

House begins child nutrition reauthorization, but no schedule yet

Originally publihsed by The Hagstrom Report. The House Education & Labor Committee began the process of reauthorizing the child nutrition programs today, but House Education & Labor Chairman Bobby Scott, D-Va., declined to say how…

Cap on kids was a failed welfare experiment

Originally published on the Boston Globe.  A generation-long experiment that capped family welfare benefits, by penalizing those who gave birth while on public assistance, is at long last headed for the scrap heap of bad ideas in Massachusetts.…

Policy Prescriptions for Health: Baltimore’s “Checkup” Shows Hardship-Free Kids are Healthier Kids

Originally published on FRAC's ResearchWire newsletter. After the holidays, people tend to do two things: make New Year’s resolutions and schedule an appointment for their annual checkup. Checkup appointments not only look at the current…

Household food insecurity is associated with increased hospitalizations and health care expenditures among infants

In recent years, household food insecurity (HFI) has been shown to predict increased health care utilization (including hospitalizations) and costs among Canadian working-age adults.[i] Additionally, a 2018 study has shown food insecure US adults…

Free tax preparation helps low-income workers get their full refunds

Originally published on Telegram.Com FITCHBURG – With all the benefits the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) brings to families, if EITC were a drug, it would be available in every pharmacy across the state, says Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba,…

Our Policy Focus Areas

Children’s HealthWatch research and policy analysis specifically focuses on the child health and developmental impacts of economic hardships with a particular focus on food insecurity, unstable housing, health care hardships and inability to afford adequate household energy.

  • Consistent access to food for all family members is crucial for ensuring children are healthy. Food and nutrition assistance programs are an essential cornerstone in supporting the health and well-being of low-income families. To read our SNAP/Farm Bill 2018 Legislative Priorities, click here.

  • Stable housing supports healthy growth and development among young children, and means families are not behind on rent, moving frequently, doubled up, overcrowded, or homeless. Policies that create affordable housing options that provide access to safe, stable housing help ensure young children and their families can thrive and be successful in life.

  • Maintaining consistent utility services so homes are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer is critical for children’s health and safety. Energy supports protect families from the harmful health effects of having their utilities shut off.

  • Health Care Hardships

    When families are forced to choose between paying for health care, such as medical care and prescriptions, and other basic needs such as food, rent, child care, or utility bills, that decision can have an effect on the health and wellbeing of young children. Providing supports necessary to care for children, especially those with special health care needs, is crucial for improving child health.

  • Alleviating economic hardships for families with young children will require comprehensive policy solutions including improvements to nutrition assistance programs, increasing access to affordable housing, providing energy assistance, making work pay through reducing cliff effects and increasing  and expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, providing affordable child care to all children, and supporting the health and development of all children.


Our Special Projects

We pioneer several key projects that move health research forward. Click on the icons to learn more.


Become a Supporter

CHW hunger reasearch

Children’s HealthWatch relies on grants and private donations to fund research, dissemination, and advocacy. Donations from individuals, groups, and foundations determine the size of the impact we make on the health of the children we serve and the policies that affect them.

Get email updates from CHW