Any policies that affect children should base their foundations on the best interests of the child.

Children are one-quarter of our population but all of our future. Yet the past two years have been some of the worst for children in decades. Incidents of child abuse and neglect are, once again, on the rise. Hundreds of migrant and refugee children remain separated from their parents at the border and thousands of children are still living in intolerable conditions in warehouses and cages. Too many children continue to be poisoned by lead in their drinking water or through lead paint in their homes. Children’s access to health care and coverage dropped for the first time in years. And despite low unemployment, our child poverty rate remains stubbornly high (62 percent higher than for adults) while simultaneously investments in children as a share of the federal budget tragically shrinks. The American people support making children a priority, and the 2018 midterms proved that making children a legislative and campaign priority is a clear winning formula.

Prioritizing children in federal policy and budget decisions not only stands out as the right thing to do, but makes smart political and economic sense.

First Focus Campaign for Children has put together this Proactive Kids Agenda as a guide for lawmakers on how to prioritize children in the 116th Congress. In addition to our recommendations, we urge lawmakers to analyze all policies before them as to whether it is in the best interest of our nation’s children. Our children are the best investment we can make in our country’s future. When all children succeed, we all benefit.

See what’s on the agenda.