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Making the Case for Supporting Children and Families

The Prenatal to Three Policy Road Map connects early childhood outcomes to state policy decisions


State policy is a key driver of the systematic difference in health outcomes for children and their families. The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center offers an evidence-based roadmap outlining effective policies and strategies to reduce disparities in early childhood outcomes.

St. David’s Foundation is committed to advancing health equity in Central Texas for children and families through our Resilient Children strategic goal area. Core to our understanding of health equity is the recognition that state policy is a key driver of the systematic difference in health outcomes for children and their families.

The Prenatal to 3 State Policy Roadmap offers a valuable resource for stakeholders committed to improving early childhood outcomes. Grounded in evidence, the Roadmap presents research-based, effective policies and strategies to reduces disparities in outcomes. Updated annually, the Roadmap supports the Foundation and our partners in tracking how state policies are impacting outcomes in Texas and how that compares to other states across the country. Of the twenty prenatal to three outcomes tracked in the updated Prenatal to 3 Policy Roadmap, Texas lags behind other states in most areas, leaving valuable potential on the table.  The Roadmap provides an evidence-based guide to which State policy options are most likely to reverse this trend and measurably improve outcomes for families with young children, ensuring our state has the human capital necessary for future success.  Read the full 2021 Texas PN3 Update here.

As a philanthropy committed to advancing health equity for all Central Texans, we recognize the limitations of programmatic funding alone. Evidence-based policies are needed to allow programs to operate at scale and in an environment in which they can achieve their full impact to improve health outcomes for families. The PN3 Roadmap presents evidence and research to support the impact of five policies and six strategies to improve early childhood outcomes. This resource serves as a tool for philanthropy by identifying opportunities to provide seed funding for effective strategies and build the evidence for sustainable funding at scale through policy change.

St. David’s Foundation has seeded two (Healthy Steps and Family Connects) of the strategies named in the PN3 Policy Roadmap in Central Texas, but these programs can’t scale with philanthropic funds alone.  State policy change is needed to create the population level outcomes that can unlock the potential of the next generation. To this end, we are collaborating with researchers and implementation sites to measure effectiveness and share results with key decisionmakers.

Meet our Contributors


Kim McPherson, MPAff

Senior Program Officer