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Collaborative Partnerships Between Early Care & Education and Child Welfare

Supporting Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families Through Risk to Resilience

Published: September 10, 2012
Program Administration
Fact Sheet

Young children enter foster care in disproportionately high numbers. In 2009, 5% of children in the United States who received child care subsidies were also under the guardianship of protective services.

Some quick facts about infants and toddlers in child welfare:

  • 231,940 children ages 3 and younger had substantiated reports of maltreatment, accounting for 33.4% of all substantiations in FY 2009. Of those children, 87,612 were under the age of 1.
  • Infants comprise a disproportionately large percentage of first-time admissions to out-of-home care.
  • Almost 1 in 4 children admitted to out-of-home care for the first time is under the age of 1. This proportion keeps rising.
  • Children under 3 who have been neglected are at a significantly higher risk of later experiencing developmental problems when compared to those who do not experience abuse.
  • While children who are maltreated at a young age are likely to develop a variety of problems across domains, they are also more amenable to effective intervention.
  • Compared to children who experience maltreatment in their teens, children who experience maltreatment in early childhood do better over the long term.

Download the PDF to learn more.

Last Reviewed: November 29, 2016