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March 18 is U.S. Census Count All Kids Day

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The Count All Kids campaign has designated Wednesday, March 18 as national Count All Kids Day.

Census figures will determine how the government spends $1.5 trillion in annual federal funding. The 2010 Census missed more than two million children under 5, costing states $550 million per year in lost federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid, foster care, adoption and child care services.

On average schools lost $1,695 per year for every school-aged child missed. The number of young children missed could double in 2020, according to the Partnership for America’s Children, based on survey results that found 10% of 800 families making less than $50,000 per year said they would not count their babies, toddlers or pre-schoolers.

Another 8 percent were uncertain about whether to count them.

“Even a newborn still in the hospital needs to be captured in these numbers,” says Deborah Stein, Network Director for Partnership for America’s Children and co-leader of Count All Kids. “Counting all kids directly determines how much we spend on children’s health care, child care, education and other resources as the children grow over the next ten years.”

So when do I count kids?:

  • The general rule is: Count children in the home where they live and sleep most of the time, even if their parents do not live there.
  • If you’ve just had a baby, and your baby is still in the hospital on Census Day (April 1, 2020), then count your baby at the home where he or she will live and sleep most of the time.
  • If children spend time in more than one home, count them where they stay most often. If their time is evenly divided, or if you do not know where they stay most often, count them where they are staying on April 1, 2020.
  • If a friend’s or family member’s child is staying with you (with or without the parent), and the child does not have a permanent place to live, count the child if he or she is staying with you on April 1, 2020 — even if it’s only temporary.

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