Children and youth vary in their developmental health due to differences in family economic security and exposure to toxic stress. The economic downturn has increased the challenges facing low-income children. The ARRA and the President's first budget made significant down-payments on investments in protecting and promoting the well-being of these children. But some of those investments are temporary and must be built into baselines going forward. Many other promising avenues for policy change could be implemented through reauthorization of PRWORA and ESEA. Further, a new era of experimentation in innovative program and policies is recommended for when the economy recovers.