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.

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Trends in food insecurity and SNAP participation among immigrant families of US born young children

Children's Healthwatch Deputy Director of Policy Strategy, Allison Bovell-Ammon, delivered a presentation on a new study which examines the trends in food insecurity and SNAP participation among immigrant families of US born young children.…
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Study: Following 10-year gains, SNAP participation among immigrant families dropped in 2018

Newswise — San Diego, Nov. 12, 2018 – New research presented today at the American Public Health Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Expo revealed that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation declined in the first…
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When low-income families can meet their basic needs, children are healthier

Boston, MA - A series of reports from five cities across the US found that young children and their parents are healthier when they are able to afford basic needs. New research published by Children's HealthWatch, headquartered at Boston…
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Keeping Children's Weight on Track: A Pathway to Health and Well-Being

This report card examines children’ weight over time. We looked at almost 3,000 infants and toddlers from low-income families who started life in a healthy state  - born at a healthy birth weight and at term. Most children remained at…
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Affordable Health Care Keeps Children and Families Healthy

Access to affordable health care is important for young children and their parents’ overall health. When health care services are affordable, children are more able to access needed care, including preventive services such as well child visits…
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Balancing Act: Countering High Health Care Costs to Promote Healthy Arkansas Families and Children

The basic needs of all Arkansas families — a stable home; nutritious food; heating, cooling or electricity; and access to affordable health care — are deeply interwoven. In this report we focus on several policy solutions that address…
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The Poor People’s Campaign Calls Out ‘Policy Violence’

Originally posted on The Nation. Shortly after her husband was assassinated in 1968, Coretta Scott King spoke at a rally in front of tens of thousands of people, including members of the original Poor People’s Campaign. She reflected…
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Battle Over TANF Family Cap Intensifies

Originally posted on SpotlightOnPoverty.org One day in the spring of 2017, thousands of diapers filled the Massachusetts state house during the legislative session. Then that fall, hundreds of child-size winter hats and mittens made their…

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.

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