Become a Count All Kids Champion
Why the census matters for young children and their families
The U.S. Constitution requires a complete count of every resident of the U.S. every ten years. Census data is used to decide everything from where new schools will go to how much funding our communities receive for programs like Head Start and SNAP. While our country has been getting better at counting adults, we have actually been getting worse at counting young children. The 2010 census missed about two million young children, 12,000 of whom were Louisiana residents. Louisiana missed out on over $16 million each year from the top five child-serving federal programs due to the 2010 undercount. In human terms, an inaccurate census means longer Head Start waitlists, under-resourced schools and more hungry children. As a state that is ranked 48th in overall child well-being, we simply cannot afford to leave that kind of money on the table for our kids.
Focusing specifically on the young child undercount is important because young children tend to get missed by the census for different reasons than adults. In most cases, children who were missed by the census in 2010 lived in households that completed the census, but did not include all children living in the house in their response. That means it is incredibly important that we get the word out about why we must count all kids. It’s equally important that community members have easily accessible information about who to include in their census response because children are often left off when their living situations are more complex (such as when they are living with grandparents, in foster care or when they are living with another family.)
COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for the 2020 Census, including a delayed start to "field operations" and low response rates. The Census Bureau recently announced that they plan to end door knocking on September 30th, a month earlier than had been previously announced, so it is especially important for everyone to respond as soon as possible!
Responding to the census is easier than ever. It takes just 10 minutes, and can be completed online at https://2020census.gov.
Agenda for Children has developed several resources to support a complete count in Louisiana:
Take the Pledge-Become a Count All Kids Champion!
Take the pledge to become a Count All Kids Champion! By becoming a Count All Kids Champion, you can sign up to learn more about the census, commit to specific activities, and order materials, such as posters, fliers, yard signs and "Count Me" stickers.
Overview of How Schools and Centers Can Support a Complete Count
We created a one-page flier that gives centers and schools lots of ideas on how they can raise families' awareness of the census and support families in completing the census.
Outreach Toolkit for Early Childhood Stakeholders
Our outreach toolkit provides more in-depth resources for early childhood stakeholders who would like to join efforts to ensure a complete count of children and their families in 2020. The toolkit includes links to local and national resources (including posters, social media assets and fact sheets), hotline information in multiple languages, timelines for census outreach, as well as sample emails and newsletter blurbs you can use in communications to families.
Young Child Undercount in Louisiana Fact Sheet
Our two-page overview of the young child undercount in Louisiana provides key facts on the young child undercount in Louisiana.