Today marks a significant day for children in the 2020 Census. It’s Count All Kids Day— the day
dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of counting babies, toddlers and young children (from birth to age 5).
So even as people in your community are responding to the public health challenges of COVID-19, we want to bring your attention to this opportunity. It only comes around every 10 years — and counting children matters more than ever.
Children are at the heart of everything we do at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. We know for children to thrive, their communities need to be equitable places of opportunity—and the census is pivotal to ensuring that equitable opportunity for our children, families and communities.
The census determines how more than $800 billion in annual federal support to states and localities will be allocated. This aid is critical in serving hard-to-reach populations, especially those most in need, and funds programs (like Head Start, public assistance, Medicaid, affordable housing) and essential infrastructure (such as public transit, hospitals, libraries and schools).
The most important decennial count is already upon us. In the last census, about 1 million children under the age of 5 were not counted. Experts predict that a Census 2020 undercount will be even greater than previous counts. The decennial census has historically undercounted children of color, as well as children in low-income, Indigenous and immigrant families, and the early years are the most critical in a child’s life. So not being counted today, limits the resources they need over the next ten years. Now more than ever, amid this public health crisis, we must ensure that all children are counted.
The Kellogg Foundation has partnered with many organizations and grantee networks to promote a full and accurate count, focusing on hard-to-count communities—especially babies and young children. We are proud to support a cohort of national and community-based organizations that are tirelessly working to ensure that an undercount of our most vulnerable children won’t happen again. And as things are progressing rapidly with the COVID-19 health crisis, community leaders are swiftly building capacities and shifting strategies to bolster and lead online count efforts.
Their efforts are far-reaching, and we’d like to take the time to thank our partner organizations and grantees for their tireless commitment and dedication to ensuring an accurate count of young children.
Let’s make sure our children have everything they need to thrive.
When everyone counts, everyone thrives.