Children’s HealthWatch, headquartered at Boston Medical Center, is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts. Our network is committed to improving children’s health in America. We do that by first collecting real-time data in urban hospitals across the country on infants and toddlers from families facing economic hardship. We then analyze and share our findings with academics, legislators, and the public.

Our findings help policymakers and the public better understand the social and economic factors that impact children’s health so they can make well-informed policy decisions that can give all children equal opportunities for healthy, successful lives.

Children’s HealthWatch currently has pediatricians and researchers located in urban hospitals in five cities across the United States: Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Little Rock, AR; Minneapolis, MN; and Philadelphia, PA.

Our Mission

The mission of Children’s HealthWatch is to improve the health and development of young children, the health of families and maternal health by informing equitable policies that alleviate economic hardships, by first actively seeking to dismantle systems of institutionalized discrimination and inequity as root causes of these hardships. We must then rebuild and replace them with systems that recognize and support the inherent humanity of all individuals and their right to be free from racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination that impede physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.

Our Affirmation Statement

We at Children’s HealthWatch affirm that ALL children in the United States thrive when we respond to their realities, and that regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, ability, citizenship status, or sexual orientation  (or that of their caregiver(s))–they have the right to:

  • be free of institutionalized racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination
  • accessible nutritious food that builds their minds and bodies
  • safe, healthy, affordable, and well-maintained housing with clean water, adequate space and air quality, and heating and cooling
  • clean, well-fitting, and weather appropriate clothing, outerwear, and shoes
  • safe neighborhoods with green space to encourage physical activity and that support social development
  • safe and healthy environments that are free of fear of any kind of violence or abuse and that encourage and support physical, mental, and emotional development
  • health insurance and medical care including dental, eye and behavioral/socioemotional care
  • a high-quality education that prepares them to be productive members of society in adulthood
  • health-protective social infrastructure programs that provide income or material support, such as SNAP, WIC, TANF and EITC/CTC to ensure caregivers have the tools and resources to adequately feed, clothe and house them
  • THEIR best interests being represented by policymakers on the local, state and federal levels
  • be.children. They have the right to experience the joys of childhood without undue worry, concern, or fear

Our Methods

Since 1998, Children’s HealthWatch has been collecting real-time data in frontline healthcare settings, to perform comprehensive research on the impact of economic hardship on the health and development of infants and toddlers under age four.

We are the only frontline organization that collects and analyzes data on an ongoing basis exclusively about very young children who are from families facing economic hardship. With nearly 60,000 surveys in our data set, we have the most comprehensive, current information about the health and well-being of this population.

To ensure a complete picture of each child in our survey, the information we collect from caregivers includes more than just physical health. We also look at numerous factors that impact health, such as access to food and affordable housing.

Click here to learn more about our research and methodology.