When a baby is born, parents provide important information, some of which can be thought of as “assets” that support the infant, like parental employment history and ability to afford and access health care. These assets are carefully documented in birth records, making them a rich source of data about infants, families, and communities.
Research shows that these assets promote resilience, but some infants are born with more assets than others. By measuring these assets and examining the differences within and between communities, policymakers can allocate services more equitably—and earlier in children’s lives. That’s the aim of the California Strong Start Index.