A million children under the age of 5 are expected to be left out the 2020 United States Census, but the Children’s Hospital of Georgia is taking steps to make sure their patients are included in the count.
The census is conducted once every 10 years and, for various reasons, young children are often not included on the survey forms. Georgia has the fifth-highest undercount of young kids in the nation, and this can lead to a drop in federal funding for statewide programs like school lunch, affordable housing and health care.
With thousands of children being treated annually at Children’s, the hospital is sounding the alarm to ensure those pediatric patients are included in this year’s census.
“Participation in the census is vital to our state’s health care, and kids should not be omitted from something that affects federal funds for programs they will need,” said Dr. April Hartman, chief of the Division of General Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. “When children are counted, the government will provide funding for child care, children’s health insurance, special education and a host of other programs. It is important for parents to include their babies and young children in this survey so our hospital and community will get additional funding to help future generations.”
To help parents remember to include their children in the census, Children’s has launched a public awareness campaign that includes using their blog site to spotlight 2020 Census facts and an interactive quiz. The hospital is also sharing educational material on their social media platforms as well as on the electronic bulletin boards throughout the hospital.
When it comes to Census 2020, Hartman says remember the five W’s.
WHO: The census counts all people, of any age or status living in the United States.
WHAT: The census is required by the United States Constitution, and it is a count of everyone living in the country taken every 10 years.
WHEN: Census Day is April 1, and residents will begin receiving information in the mail mid-March.
WHERE: The census can be filled out online, on paper, by phone or directly to census workers.
WHY: The census not only helps families get the education, health care and public services they need, but the survey also helps to count direct funding to programs like Head Start and Medicaid.
The census is safe, convenient, confidential and required. To participate in this year’s survey, fill out the online form or complete the survey on paper, over the phone or in-person with a census worker at your home. Get more information or call the Voices for Georgia’s Children at 404-521-0311.