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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Mattapan child care center serves parents who work off hours

Originally published on The Bay State Banner. Kiddies Corner was a “proud” investment, said Dr. Megan Sandel, a pediatrician and principal investigator of the Boston Opportunity System Collaborative, which helps underserved Boston neighborhoods…

Kids face the greatest risk of eviction of any age group. The consequences can last a lifetime.

Originally published on Youth Today. Dr. Diana Cutts, a pediatrician and principal investigator for Children’s HealthWatch, a child health and development research organization, co-authored another study last year that looks at the…

WIC Needs Immediate Funding to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Children

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a vital program that supports the health and well-being of pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and young children. WIC helps families with food purchasing,…

Investments Needed to Strengthen and Protect Safety Net Programs for Child and Family Health as Data Reveal a Rise in Food Insecurity Rates

In late October, the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service released their annual report revealing an alarming increase in food insecurity across all household types from 2021 to 2022. Overall, in 2022 12.8% of…

Development and Validation of an Abbreviated Child and Adult Food Security Scale for Use in Clinical and Research Settings in the United States

Abstract Background Food insecurity (FI) prevalence was consistently >10% over the past 20 years, indicating chronic economic hardship. Recession periods exacerbate already high prevalence of FI, reflecting acute economic hardship. To…

Children's HealthWatch supports families by addressing food, housing insecurity

Originally published on CBS. BOSTON - Housing and hunger are two of the biggest issues plaguing vulnerable children across our country.  That's according to the Children's HealthWatch organization which has spent decades supporting families…

Children’s HealthWatch Statement on Child Poverty & Averting a Government Shutdown

This month, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data that showed the rate of children living in poverty more than doubled in 2022, from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022. These data come from the 2022 Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts…

Testimony in support of An Act establishing basic needs assistance for Massachusetts immigrant residents and An Act to lift kids out of deep poverty

Chair Kennedy, Chair Livingstone and distinguished members of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities: Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony on behalf of Children’s HealthWatch in strong…

Subsidized meals in child care tied to healthier kids and families

Originally published on The Washington Post. Every day, more than 4.2 million children receive nutritious food and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a federally funded, state-administered initiative that reimburses…

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.

  • 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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