The Census is a count of every resident of the United States required by the U.S. Constitution, and the next count is April 1, 2020. We only get one chance in a decade to get a complete count, and yet so many resources are dependent on the Census. The more accurate the count, the more our community can benefit from these resources.
We’ve already talked about why the Census matters to our community, as it helps determine federal funding, educational resources, local planning, and political representation. But did you know that Child Care Resources Inc. uses Census data too?
Our organization relies on Census data for the delivery of early care and education services. CCRI uses information about the size and composition of households, as well as the languages spoken at home, as it develops or expands services.
It also helps us determine supply and demand. CCRI compares supply/availability data elements (e.g., enrollment, vacancy, and capacity) at both the program-level (e.g., number of programs with open spaces within a community) and child-level (e.g., number of spaces available for a child of a specific age) with demographic characteristics to identify geographic areas with vulnerable families who may need improved access to high-quality early care and education.
Census data also helps with community planning. CCRI informs community stakeholders of emerging opportunities for a high-quality, affordable early care and education system.
The Census also allows us to support child care facility decisions. CCRI provides information to new and existing child care businesses seeking to pinpoint areas to gauge potential markets for locating new facilities or expanding their existing business.
So how can you help ensure a complete count in the 2020 Census? First, you can participate, for you and your family, by completing the Census online. Second, you can help spread the word and encourage others to participate too. Together, we can help make Mecklenburg County a better community for our children!