The National Children’s Study is led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in collaboration with a consortium of federal government partners. Study partners include the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The National Children’s Study will examine the effects of the environment, as broadly defined to include factors such as air, water, diet, sound, family dynamics, community and cultural influences, and genetics on the growth, development, and health of children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21 years. The goal of the Study is to improve the health and well-being of children and contribute to understanding the role various factors have on health and disease. Findings from the Study will be made available as the research progresses, making potential benefits known to the public as soon as possible. The Study can also allow scientists to find the differences that exist between groups of people, in terms of their health, health care access, disease occurrence, and other issues, so that these differences or disparities can be addressed.
Congress appropriated funds for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 to continue the first phase of implementation of the National Children’s Study. With these funds, the 7 Vanguard Centers began recruitment of families into the Study. In addition, 17 additional Study Centers were awarded at the end of fiscal year 2007 and 12 more Study Centers were awarded at the end of fiscal year 2008, for a total of 36 Study Centers awarded to date. Fiscal year 2009 funding for the National Children’s Study was $179.7 million. Fiscal year 2010 funding was to $193.9 million. Funding for fiscal year 2011 was $191.1 million, and enacted funding for fiscal year 2012 is $193.1 million.