Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is leading an effort to gain support for protecting children’s programs from cuts. The Senator is circulating a letter for Senators to sign urging Congressional leaders to put children first during their budget reduction talks. In her words “It is time to both protect and invest in those who are the most vulnerable in our country- not leave them to chance”. The text of the letter can be found here: MikulskiLetter12-10-12 .
Her letter includes startling data from 2011:
* One in five children – 16 million – in the U.S. (the wealthiest country on the planet) live in poverty, including one in four children under 5. Half of children under 6 in the U.S. live in low-income families.
* More than 8.5 million children in the U.S. lived in food insecure households.
* Children are not getting the early learning they need to succeed in school. Only 29 percent of eligible 3-5 year old children in the U.S. are enrolled in Head Start. Just 4.5 percent of eligible children are enrolled in Early Head Start. Only one in six eligible children receive a child care subsidy, but the quality of care many of those children are in (as well as the care children not receiving a subsidy are in) is relatively poor.
* 40 percent of U.S. families with a substantiated child abuse report received no services in 2010.
* More than 1,500 children in the U.S. died due to abuse and neglect (47.7 percent were children under the age of one).
* Fifteen years after the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, 10 percent of children in the U.S. still do not have health insurance.