All children need safe and healthy communities that allow them to thrive. And counting young children in the 2020 census is a critical first step toward building safe, healthy communities because population statistics determine the funding that each state receives for school programs, medical care, food programs and roads and bridges.
So, how can you help make sure children across Michigan –– and the country –– receive the help and programs they need? Fill out the 2020 census online and count the children who live with you. Census data impacts the amount of federal funds that communities receive each year for a variety of programs that serve young children.
- Special education, Head Start and after-school programs
- Food assistance, including free school lunches, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School Lunch Program
- Medicare and the MIChild health insurance program.
The Census Bureau offers guidelines for counting young children, especially if their parents have a shared custody arrangement or if they spend some time living at relatives’ homes. Young children should be counted in the home where they were living on Census Day, April 1, 2020. Newborns should be counted if they were born on or before April 1, 2020.
There are many reasons why young children can be missed in the census. Some kids live with large, extended families or with multiple families who share a home. These children may stay in more than one home or they may not be related to the person filling out the census. That’s why everyone living in a household –– temporarily or permanently, relative or friend –– should be counted in the 2020 census.
Children who live in homes where English is a second language are at risk of not being counted in the census. That’s why the Census Bureau offers people the opportunity to fill out the census over the phone in the language of their choice. Other resources about the census, including the information found on the MIVoiceCounts.org website, also are available in several languages.
Being accurate in your 2020 census submission means getting a complete count of all Michigan kids, which will help Michigan obtain its fair share of federal funding to help our kids grow and thrive.
When everyone counts, everyone wins! Kids, too!