Making Children a Priority

Spending for American children is an investment.

When we help children grow and succeed, we are paving the way for our country’s next generation of workers and leaders.

Investing in our children means investing in a world-class education, making sure every child starts kindergarten ready to learn, every teenager who aspires to a college education and is willing to work for it can afford one, and making sure there are jobs waiting for them on the other end.

Investing in our children means recognizing that children learn the values of respect and responsibility in strong families and safe communities. And investing in our children means investing in those who are most vulnerable:

  1. helping parents in poor communities protect their children from poverty, violence, and drugs;
  2. providing mentors and role models so all our nation’s teenagers finish high school;
  3. supporting children who live in nontraditional households with grandparents, extended family, adoptive parents, or foster homes;
  4. and caring for the millions of children who are abused and neglected, so that every child stands a chance for a satisfying, productive life.

Supporting our children isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s one of the best investments we can make as a nation.

However, this message is not being communicated to our leaders. Spending on children has decreased by 16% since 2010, and it is projected to decrease by 24% over the next 10 years. Currently, spending on children makes up just 8% of the federal budget.

Do we as a country agree that we spend too much on children, and that we’re happy with the future prospects of our children? 


To invest in our children to the fullest extent, the shutdown needs to end. The sequester needs to end. And there needs to be a national conversation by our leaders on their plans for renewing their interest in investing in our children

  1. Read the Urban Institute’s 2012 Kids Share Report here. 
  2. Special thanks to Jared Solomon from First Focus for providing content and inspiration for the blog.

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