One in three families experience diaper need during their child’s first three years. The economic impact of the pandemic only exacerbated the problem, with millions in our region contending with mounting debt, eviction and food insecurity.
Diapers cannot be purchased with food stamps or WIC vouchers, but babies need six to 12 diapers per day to stay clean, dry and healthy. For families living in poverty, scraping together nearly $80 per month to meet this need is close to impossible.
Our region is in particularly sad shape when it comes to the achievement gap, which begins in infancy. Participating in daycare and early childhood education programs decreases this gap, but children cannot go to daycare or preschool without diapers.
Creating an environment for all our children in which basic needs are met has lifelong benefits. By age 3, 80% of brain growth is complete. Successful enrollment and retention in early childhood education programs increases success from kindergarten to college. Imagine if all of our children could benefit from that learning.