Children under 5 are one of the largest groups of undercounted people in the United States. 2020 Census information will be used to determine how to spend billions of dollars of federal and state funds over the next 10 years. Much of that money funds programs such as nutrition assistance, Head Start, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that directly impact children. Local decisions about building new libraries, schools, and hospitals are driven by population statistics. A new school may be needed because of increased births in one area but the school might not be built if all newborns and toddlers - future schoolchildren - aren't counted. An inaccurate census could potentially shape a child's future for the next decade.
Young children who are missed tend to live with large, extended families or with multiple families living under one roof. Families living in subsidized housing that limits how many people can live in each unit may be reluctant to report everyone who lives there for fear that responses will be shared with landlords or other agencies. Remind your clients that responses to the 2020 Census are confidential and protected by law. Information is used only for statistics and won't be shared with any law enforcement agency.
- Count children in the home where they live and sleep most of the time, even if their parents don't 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, count them where they are staying on April 1, 2020.
- Count children in a home even if they are staying there temporarily.
- Count newborn babies in the home where they will live most of the time, even if they are still in the hospital on April 1, 2020.
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