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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It's Time To Prioritize The Health And Well-Being Of Black Families And Children

Dear Friends, Partners and Supporters, As health professionals, we condemn, in the strongest possible language, structural racism in all its forms. We all are witnessing the consequences of unchecked, normalized, and institutionalized racism…
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Healthy Families EITC Coalition's Testimony To Support Massachusetts Bill S.2659 & H.4726: “An Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers"

On May 22nd, the Healthy Families EITC Coalition submitted a written testimony to strongly support Massachusetts Bill S.2659 & H.4726: “An Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers". While the Federal CARES Act provided…
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Electronic Medical Record–Based Referrals to Community Nutritional Assistance for Food-Insecure Patients

Food insecurity, defined as the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, has consistently been associated with poor health outcomes and higher health care costs. To address this issue, a food resource referral was…
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A Process to Quantify the Health Impact of State Tax Policy

Originally published on The Pew Charitable Trusts. To examine the potential effects of creating a state-level earned income tax credit for low-income workers, experts in 2019 conducted a detailed health impact assessment (HIA) of a proposal…
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‘I Know You’re Angry With Me Right Now Because You’re Hungry’

Originally published on The New York Times.  Infants and toddlers in food-insecure households were at higher risk for iron deficiency, experienced more hospitalizations and were generally in worse health than children who had enough…
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Access to High-Quality, Affordable Child Care: Strategies to Improve Health Across Boston and the Commonwealth

Access to High-Quality, Affordable Child Care: Strategies to Improve Health Across Boston and the Commonwealth Summary of Findings Cost, location, hours, and/or availability of high-quality child care may restrict parent’s ability to…
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Access to High-Quality, Affordable Child Care: Strategies to Improve Health

Access to High-Quality, Affordable Child Care: Strategies to Improve Health High-quality, nurturing, and affordable child care is essential to support children and their parents. A large body of evidence demonstrates the importance of high-quality…
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19 Ways to Ensure Health Equity for Latinos During (and After) COVID-19

Originally published on Salud America!  Health equity is where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to live their healthiest life possible. But health inequity remains. Now the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening historical…

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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