Research shows that many disparities in health and well-being are rooted in early childhood. These disparities reflect gaps in access to services, unequal treatment, adverse congenital health conditions, and exposures in the early years linked to elevated community and family risks.1 Early health risks and conditions can have long-range implications for physical, emotional, and intellectual development as well as health. Their contribution to disparities in health status, disabilities, and educational achievement is well documented.2 But many risks can be addressed in the early years, starting with quality prenatal care and interventions in the earliest stages of life. Thus, literally, reducing disparities begins with babies.
Johnson, Kay; Theberge, Suzanne; and Copyright © 2007 by the National Center for Children in Poverty; Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health NY, "Reducing Disparities Beginning in Early Childhood: Short Takes No. 4" (2007). Mickey Leland Center on Hunger, Poverty, and World Peace. 12.