Nobody really remembers what it is like to be two years old. It is hard to remember your favorite toy when you were two or who was #1 on the Billboard Top 100 List at the time. BUT, from 0-3 years old is one of the most important stages for children. According to Zero to Three – a national non-profit that aims to keep professionals, policymakers, and parents informed on development and health tools for toddlers and infants – “Research shows that [a]s a child grows, supportive relationships with parents and caregivers shape his or her self-image and provide the child with the resilience needed to face new challenges.”
The statement above may not be new to anyone, but it is a good reminder of how critical a role that a primary caregiver has with a small child. Now, think about if you ARE the primary caregiver, but you are a single parent or a couple that is underemployed and not making much money or a parent who has been laid off while yourself or your spouse was pregnant. Think about the stress that was already present because of the pregnancy, and now think about MUCH MORE stress is present because of job loss or lack of money available.
In a study done by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), 43.6 children per 1000 children received preventative services. Preventative services are aimed at increasing the understanding of child development for the primary caregiver. This number has dropped since 2007, and the victimization rate in 2008 was the lowest it had been since 2003. At first thought, it may seem alright that preventative services are declining; however, prevention is the key to the success of a lower victimization rate!
Help HealthNet’s Better Indy Babies and Healthy Families programs continue to keep preventative services steady for at-risk families. You can help ease the stress of a caregiver by simply spreading awareness about the need for prevention or by donating a quick $25 to HealthNet.