This year has delivered an unprecedented public health emergency and an economic crisis that has disrupted every facet of the lives of children and families. More than ever before, the importance of prioritizing children in federal budget decisions has become crystal clear.

At today’s first virtual Children’s Budget Summit, First Focus on Children assembles frontline educators and a bipartisan slate of Congressional leaders to discuss the findings of our 2020 Children’s Budget book. The book, released today, tracks federal investments in more than 200 domestic programs aimed at children, and, for the first time, includes an analysis of U.S. spending on children internationally.

Top takeways: The share of U.S. federal spending on children has hit its lowest level in five years.  Even before COVID-19:

  • 1 in 5 children in foster care will become instantly homeless upon aging out of the system.
  • 89% of children eligible for Early Head Start do not have access to it.
  • 15% of U.S. households with school-age children do not have access to high-speed internet at home.
  • 2.2 million children were affected by parental opioid use or their own use in 2017.
  • 75% of families eligible for rental assistance in the U.S. do not receive it.
  • 1 in 7 children lived in a household that struggled to put food on the table in 2018.
  • There were 25 school shootings in 2019.
  • The youth unemployment rate was 30% in May 2020.

2020 Children’s Budget Summit featured speakers include:

  • Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Amb. Susan Jacobs (Retired), fmr. Special Advisor for Children’s Issues at the Department of State, fmr. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu
  • Tom Wyatt, CEO, KinderCare Learning Centers
  • Laurie Combe, President, National Association of School Nurses
  • Roxanne Paisible, Senior Manager, Children and Youth at InterAction
  • Kimberly Morrison, teacher, Detroit Public Schools

Download First Focus on Children’s 2020 Children’s Budget Book, which captures and analyzes historical funding data and spending trends across a wide range of policy areas — including child welfare, child care, education, health, housing, income support, nutrition and more — at this link.