Baltimore City’s Young Children: Prenatal to Five Experiences

February 2022

Baltimore City’s Young Children: Prenatal to Five Experiences

By Lieny Jeon, Natalie Schock, Curt Cronister, Xiangyu Zhao, Briana Bostic, Jun Wang, Margo Candelaria

Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC) researchers partnered partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success (MOCFS) Children’s Cabinet and the Baltimore City Early Childhood Advisory Council to publish a new report Baltimore City’s Young Children: Prenatal to Five Experiences.

The report helps us understand how families and children use early childhood services and how the use of those services is related to children’s long-term progress in school. The work was led by Dr. Lieny Jeon, BERC’s Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, in collaboration with BERC staff, doctoral students and faculty at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. 

This report makes recommendations on how services in Baltimore City can meet the needs of families with young children more effectively. In particular, BERC anticipates that this report would help service providers develop strategies to:

  • reach and serve those who need support,
  • track how each family with young children is doing,
  • improve services, and
  • foster better long-term outcomes for children

The full report  and more information can be accessed here.


Births in Baltimore City decreased by 21% between 1996 and 2019. This decrease is greater than the decrease seen in the U. S. overall over the same time period.

OB-GYN clinics and hospitals tend to be clustered near the city’s center, however, areas of growth in births are outside of these central locations and have few pregnancy- and birth-related health sites.

In Baltimore City, full-term birth and healthy birthweight averages were below national benchmarks.

Publicly-funded early childhood services and programming successfully reach families and children who are most at need.

Participation in Head Start or Public Pre-K was related to better long-term outcomes for children particularly for those with young mothers, living in poverty and on medical assistance.