Blog author Sarah (left, tree) and her sister Becky (right, Tigger) in costume in 1998.
It’s Halloween, which means it’s time for the annual Save the Children office-decorating contest! Every year, teams across the office work together to create spooky, spectacular scenes around our desks and conference rooms for employees’ children to enjoy.
As we prepared for this year, my colleagues and I started brainstorming what our theme should be. As we are all policy nerds (after all, we work for Save the Children Action Network – the advocacy arm of Save the Children), we ended up talking about issues that affect kids today, from access to high-quality early learning to safety for those living in war zones around the world. These issues are all very real and (sometimes) very scary for kids, but we are working to resolve them and create a better future for kids everywhere.
So in the spirit of spookiness, here are some tricky issues that are affecting kids and ways that you can help treat them.
Trick: 51% of American families live in a child care desert – an area that has far too few child care slots to meet the need.
Treat: Urge your members of Congress to support the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act (S. 605 | H.R. 1488). This bipartisan bill would provide grants to states to address child care deserts based on the unique needs of their state.
Trick: Today, more than 70 million people are fleeing warfare, failed governments and human rights abuses. More than half of them are children. The Trump administration has drastically cut the number of refugees allowed to apply for sanctuary in our country.
Treat: Tell Congress and the Trump administration that America should still be a beacon of hope.
Trick: Children at the U.S.-Mexico border are displaced due to circumstances beyond their control – escaping violence and extreme poverty. They are now facing long-term detention and aren’t receiving basic standards of care.
Treat: Urge your members of Congress to support the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act.
Trick: Quality early learning programs in the U.S. helps set kids up for success. But millions of children miss out simply because their parents can’t afford it and there isn’t enough funding to meet the need.
Treat: Urge your members of Congress to support robust funding for Head Start, Preschool Development Grants and Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG) in Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations.
Trick: 75 million children worldwide are at risk of missing out on an education because they are refugees or living in a conflict zone.
Treat: Urge your members of Congress to support robust funding for Education Cannot Wait, global fund that brings together world governments and humanitarian organizations to provide education for children impacted by war and conflict.
Though we will be competing with our colleagues to see who can make the spookiest display, we all agree that creating a less-scary world starts with investing in kids. If you agree, do something sweet and use your voice for kids.