The latest estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau show that by 2043, Whites will no longer be a majority of the U.S. population. At the current time, persons of color are more than 50 percent of the population under the age of 2 and Whites are no longer a majority of the students in the nation’s public schools.
While the population demographics are shifting, there is a widening racial gap in most economic indicators. A new report from the Center for American Progress recommends that in order to best deal with issues of economic inequality, the United States should refocus social policy on programs for infants and toddlers to make sure they are given an equal chance for success in life.
The authors state that “today’s infants and toddlers provide a glimpse of what is on the horizon. In order to move toward closing the racial income and achievement gaps, policymakers must first close the school-readiness gap. This requires investing in the nation’s most valuable resource: America’s youngest citizens—our infants and toddlers.
Among the authors’ recommendations are:
- Increase funding for infants and toddlers consistent with the cost of providing quality care and education.
- Create single entry points for early childhood programs serving infants and toddlers.
- Allow states to apply for federal infant and toddler funds through a single application with the goal of aligning services.
- Invest in developing more evidence-based programs for diverse populations.
- Enhance outreach efforts to all communities.
The report, Aligning and Investing in Infant and Toddler Programs, my be downloaded by clicking here.