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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Comparing Food Security Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Considerations When Choosing Measures

Food insecurity (FI) is a public health issue in the US. Over the past 25 years, national prevalence of food insecurity - encompassing both low and very low food security - has been consistently over 10 percent, and very low food security…
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New website helps Massachusetts residents access more federal funding

Sen. Markey to speak at June 10 webinar on maximizing tax benefits BOSTON, MA -- The Shah Family Foundation, in partnership with Children’s HealthWatch, Greater Boston Legal Services, Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP),…
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Allowing Steady Savings by Eliminating Tests (ASSET) Act of 2021

Originally published on Coons.Senate.Gov. "We know that children thrive when their families are able to afford basic needs today and save for a better future tomorrow. Removing asset limits in programs means knocking down barriers for families…
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Childhood hunger before and after COVID

Originally published on SciLine. Food insecurity—a disruption in food access due to lack of resources—as much as doubled in the United States as result of COVID-19. But even prior to the pandemic, more than 10% of U.S. households…
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Pandemic makes childhood hunger worse experts say; inadequate food threatens children’s health

Originally published on Fox 8. Hungry children are often unhealthy children. Dr. Deborah Frank is a physician who is part of Boston University’s School of Medicine. “Food is medicine,” said Dr. Frank. The…
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Children's HealthWatch Submits a Comment to DHS on Identifying Barriers Across USCIS Benefits and Services

On May 19, Children HealthWatch submitted a comment on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Request for Public Input, “Identifying Barriers Across U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Benefits and Services" published…
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Mass. Urged to Follow States on Tax Credit for Immigrants

Originally published on Boston 25 News. BOSTON — After about 18,500 tax-paying immigrant families in Massachusetts missed out on some of the direct COVID-19 relief payments from Washington during the pandemic, some advocates and progressive…

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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