First 5 Association of California is inviting partners to use its new digital toolkit to encourage parents and caregivers of children ages 0-5 to count young kids in the upcoming Census. One million children ages 0-5 weren’t counted in the 2010 Census, and California had the highest 0-5 undercount of all states.
The toolkit includes downloadable resources for parents/caregivers, as well as those who come in frequent contact with them, such as healthcare providers and early educators. Available in English and Spanish, the kit comprises social media (calendar and click-to-post), fact sheets, posters, bookmarks, palm cards, radio readers, earned media materials, newsletter blurbs, a message guide, and a style guide.
Based on messaging research in hard-to-count communities in the state, the campaign and toolkit’s messaging addresses the barriers found to block Census participation among parents and caregivers of young children: lack of understanding about the Census and whom to include; concerns around privacy of responses, especially related to immigration status and housing situations; and unfamiliarity with how the Census helps families with small children.
“As a voice for First 5s across the state and the children they serve, First 5 Association is leading this campaign to ensure families of young kids will have the support they need for the next decade,” said Kendra Devejian, Census Project Director for First 5 Association. “When families are part of the census count, communities are more likely to receive their fair share of federal funds for schools, child care, medical care, food assistance, housing, and more.”