Newborn babies and children under age five – the youngest and most vulnerable among us – are often undercounted during the census because it’s not always easy to identify where they live.
Many live with large, extended families or with multiple families under one roof. Others might stay in more than one home or might not even be related to the person answering the census.
It’s critical to count them! Census data secures federal funding for children’s programs such as MIChild and Medicare, school lunches and education programs such as Head Start and Title 1 over the next 10 years –– a large part of their childhood.
Here’s what you and your family can do to accurately count children for the census:
- Count them in the home where they live and sleep most of the time, even if their parents do not live there.
- If a child’s time is divided between more than one home, count them where they stay most often. If their time is evenly divided, or you don’t know where they stay most often, count them where they stayed on Census Day, April 1, 2020.
- If a child’s family moved during March or April 2020, count them at the address where they lived on April 1, 2020.
- Count children in your home if they don’t have a permanent place to live and if they stayed at your home on April 1, 2020, even if it was only temporarily.
- Count newborn babies at the home where they live and sleep most of the time, even if they were still in the hospital on April 1, 2020.
- Do not count children placed in your home for respite care (foster care for no longer than two weeks). Those children should be counted in the home where they reside most of the time.
This is your opportunity to give children a good start for the next 10 years. Knowing how many children there are and where they live is essential to getting important services and programs to them.
Visit 2020census.gov and fill out the census online with your computer or handheld device. Or you can call 1-844-330-2020 to complete the census by phone, including in the language of your choice. It takes less than 10 minutes to answer nine questions.
When everyone counts, everyone wins –– and our youngest kids count, too!