babytalk2Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers

Issue No. 28, September 2013

Room for Improvement in State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies

A new report from CLASP, Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies, presents data from a recent state survey of child care subsidy, licensing, and quality enhancement policies. It provides a national picture of infant-toddler child care—one that shows significant room for improvement. CLASP’s study shows where state policy stands in relation to a set of key research-based policies on child care subsidy, licensing and quality improvement that support children’s healthy development. It also offers examples of exemplary practices that are being implemented by some states. Read more at


2013 State Baby Facts

ZERO TO THREE has published 2013 State Baby Facts, series of factsheets that provide information for early childhood professionals and policymakers about the status of infants, toddlers, and families for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The factsheets present infant and toddler data in the framework of good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. Check out your state at


Babies Learn to Recognize Words in the Womb

Be careful what you say around a pregnant woman. As a fetus grows inside a mother’s belly, it can hear sounds from the outside world—and can understand them well enough to retain memories of them after birth, according to new research. Read more at


Connection Between Diaper Need and Child Health

A study in the Journal of American Pediatrics suggests that one method to reduce parenting stress among low-income families is to inquire about diaper need and refer families to local diaper distribution services. The study goes on to suggest that parenting stress is a critical factor influencing child health and development and that diaper need could be a significant source of parenting stress.  Read more at


The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain

Extensive biological and developmental research over the past 30 years has generated substantial evidence that young children who experience severe deprivation or significant neglect—defined broadly as the ongoing disruption or significant absence of caregiver responsiveness—bear the burdens of a range of adverse consequences. Indeed, deprivation or neglect can cause more harm to a young child’s development than overt physical abuse, including subsequent cognitive delays, impairments in executive functioning, and disruptions of the body’s stress response. This paper explains why significant deprivation is so harmful in the earliest years of life and why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation.

Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed each month. Each issue features one or more resources, the majority of which are available to download at no cost.  To join the listserv, send an email with no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.eduTo suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at or (919) 966-6635.