Health Equity - Child & Family Policy Center

Health Equity

The emerging work in the health field on addressing health disparities through an equity lens has particular implications for early childhood. From 2014 through 2016, the Child and Family Policy Center and the BUILD Initiative operated the “Learning Collaborative on Health Equity and Young Children," an initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Building on this work with continuing funding from RWJF, CFPC’s Health Equity and Young Children initiative collaborated with a learning community of national health advisory panel experts and state and national programs. The initiative aimed to raise awareness, advance knowledge and develop and support leaders around the important topic of health equity and young children.

Broad Organizational Framework on Health Equity and Young Children

The BUILD Initiative/CFPC policy framework outlined 10 key elements of a narrative making the case for focusing on health equity and the health practitioner’s role in early childhood systems building. CFPC produced short briefs outlining the research and evidence-based strategies for each elements.

Below, Maxine Hayes, pediatrician and former state health officer for Washington, contextualizes the importance of these aspects. 


Charlie Bruner, co-leader of the Center's Health Equity and Young Children initiative, lays out the importance of investing in kids early on in life.

Health Equity: 10 key elements

1. Children are the most diverse—and poor

2. The first years are most critical to lifelong health

3. Neighborhoods matter for healthy child development

4. Child health is in jeopardy

5. Health disparities are preventable

6. Ensuring a positive trajectory is crucial

7. Health practitioners have key roles to play

8. There are proven programs on which to build

9. Exemplary programs share key things

10. Investment pays off

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