Congress is back in session, and debates on many pressing legislative issues have resumed. In the midst of tackling this long to-do list, investing in children remains a priority for many members of Congress and the people they represent. And for good reason. Despite all of the progress we made on behalf of kids in 2017, there are still many issues that prevent children in the U.S. and around the world from living up to their potential.
Here are a few ways that Congress should invest in kids in 2018:
The Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) matches at-risk parents and their kids with trained community members to support child literacy and teach parenting skills. The deadline for Congress to renew the MIECHV program was September 30, 2017, but Congress still hasn’t acted. If Congress doesn’t renew this federal home visiting program, 160,000 kids could miss out on the chance to succeed. Urge Congress to renew MIECHV!
Congress still hasn’t passed a bill to fund programs for 2018. Lawmakers only have until January 19 to decide on a budget—and we need to ensure that it includes funding for crucial programs that save millions of lives and ensure a strong start for all kids. So much is at stake: millions of kids don’t have access to high-quality child care and just 35% of eligible kids get to attend Head Start. Furthermore, 15,000 children under the age of five die every day of preventable causes like pneumonia and malaria. With statistics like this, it’s more important now than ever to secure funding for programs that ensure children have a bright future. Urge Congress to protect these vital programs from funding cuts!
More than 5 million children die every year before their first birthday, mostly due to diseases that are readily preventable or treatable. At the same time, 800 women around the world are dying every day due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Fortunately, ending these preventable deaths is within our reach. The bipartisan legislation, Reach Every Mother and Child Act, would scale up effective health and nutrition programs to help more moms and kids worldwide survive and thrive. Together, we can provide affordable, quality health care for every mother and child, no matter where they are. Urge Congress to save children’s lives!
Although Congress has a lot to do in a short amount of time, these critical issues must demand their attention. Please take action today and remind our lawmakers that investing in children is not only a smart decision, it’s the right thing to do.