The Census is a constitutionally mandated decennial count of each resident. Known as “the people’s count”, the Census is a core tenet of our democracy. Being counted determines who is included in our society, who is visible to our government and whose voices must be represented in the political process. Because young children cannot vote, the Census becomes one of the primary ways they can participate in our democracy and have their voices counted for an entire decade.

Technically speaking, what are the implications of being counted? In short, the Census delivers money and power. The Census count determines federal allocations of funds back to communities based on their population, and apportions political representation at all levels of government (school board, city, county, state and federal). In short, the Census allocates money and power. The decennial Census is one of the most important ways our society can deploy an equitable distribution of public resources. Of the 16 largest federal programs indexed to the Census count, 12 of them directly affect young children and their families. In fact, these sixteen programs alone will account for over $76B in annual revenue for California. Young children, ages 0-8, have been identified by the California Complete County Committee and the Census Policy Advocacy Network as one of several hard-to-count (HTC) populations.

The Census is also an opportunity to bolster the long-term civic engagement capacity of communities and organizations serving hard-to-count populations.


The LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, in partnership with the California Community Foundation and more than half a dozen other foundations, has launched an Early Childhood Census 2020 Fund. The Fund will target its resources toward efforts to bolster the count of young children, birth-to-eight, in the 2020 decennial census. The Fund is designed to fill gaps in Census-related efforts that are either not funded by other sources or better served by the Fund.

The LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment is a project of the California Community Foundation Community Initiatives Fund (CCF-CIF), a US-based, 501(c)(3) public charity.


The Early Childhood Census 2020 Fund is made possible through funding from the Baby Futures Fund and our partners:

  • The Atlas Family Foundation
  • Ballmer Group
  • The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation
  • First 5 LA
  • Roth Family Foundation
  • The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation