The census is supposed to count every person living in the United States, but it often fails to count young children. Young kids under 5 are the age group most likely to be missed by the census. The 2010 Census undercounted young children in the United States by one million kids.
When kids aren’t counted in the census, it hurts our communities and reduces funding for important programs that help our kids and families. Colorado’s 2020 Census data will be used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funding for programs like child care assistance, Head Start, foster care and WIC. In one year alone, Colorado received $2 billion in federal funding for kids’ programs based on our census population counts. If young kids aren’t counted in 2020, our communities won’t receive their fair share of this funding for the next decade.
Child care providers and others working with young children are trusted messengers that can help them understand how important census participation is. Here’s how you can help share the census message in your community and ensure every child is counted:
- Talk to parents and families about the importance of counting all children in their household in the census. Let them know that funding for child care assistance, Head Start, Medicaid, and other programs relies on counting kids in the census.
- Use the Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools early childhood materials in English or Spanish. Find classroom activity ideas, a 2020 Census coloring book and even a 2020 Census song!
- Send census information home with kids or hang 2020 Census flyers where parents will see them.
- Let families know the information they provide through the census is safe and cannot be shared with anyone, including other federal government agencies. Any current or former Census Bureau employee that releases individual data can go to prison for five years or pay a fine of $250,000.