Using Public Health Strategies to Shape Early Childhood Policy

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Abstract

There is clear evidence that ensuring safe, stimulating, and nurturing caregiving environments for young children may be one of the most impactful health promotion strategies available, with lifelong and intergenerational benefits. Supports and interventions in the early years of life may in fact be the most effective way to improve school performance, increase high school graduation rates, job performance, and adult productivity. A public health approach to early childhood well-being, as opposed to the needs of children being addressed in multiple siloes, may be a more effective strategy that will lead to smarter investments and increasing financial commitments. Louisiana is used as a case study, with examples of strategies organized by the 3 core functions of public health.

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