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Contact: Ed Walz
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Investments in Children Dropping 60 Percent Faster than Overall Spending, Report Finds

Federal Budget

Washington – The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus today released a report finding that, federal spending on initiatives that benefit children is falling 60 percent faster than overall federal spending. As detailed in Children’s Budget 2014, federal spending on children has dropped 14 percent since the most recent high point in 2010, while overall federal spending decreased just 8 percent during the same period.

“These numbers paint a clear picture – Congress is targeting kids for budget cuts,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.

Children’s Budget 2014 is a detailed analysis of more than 180 federal investments in children. These initiatives range from investments that benefit children every day, like education, to those that address acute problems such as child abuse and neglect. The analysis also includes initiatives not traditionally recognized as investments in children, like federal affordable housing and Social Security. The publication was released by First Focus today at an event in Washington, D.C. Key findings from Children’s Budget 2014 include:

  • Since its peak in 2010, total federal spending on children has dropped 14 percent after adjusting for inflation;
  • Just 8 percent of the federal budget is invested in children; and
  • The 2013 federal budget sequestration continues to impact children, with 2014 spending on children’s initiatives still below 2012 levels.

This analysis comes at a critical moment, as Congress considers federal funding legislation with direct consequences for children. Annual appropriations debates have begun in both chambers of Congress, with implications for children’s issues ranging from education to child abuse and neglect prevention and response.

“The choices Congress makes right now will have lifelong consequences for children, and we’ve got to help them make better choices,” said Lesley.

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First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit