Early childhood is a time of rapid change and critical milestones during which the trajectory of a child’s development and well-being is shaped by their interactions with family, caregivers, teachers, and multiple programs and services. However, many children and families do not receive the supports they need to reach their full potential, especially those who have been marginalized by racism and systemic inequalities. Further, the fragmentation of the early childhood system—which includes early childhood policies, programs, services, and infrastructure—challenges the system’s ability to best support children, families, and its workforce. Child Trends’ early childhood research agenda focuses on the needs of young children and their families as they grow, learn, and access early childhood services in their communities and states.
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