Together, we can generate the power needed to create change for kids.
Let’s break down the barriers that stand in the way of kids reaching their full potential.
Imagine if kids had more power in policymaking.
Public policies and funding would ensure that all kids, especially kids of color, have access to physical, oral, and mental health care and nutritious food. High quality child care and preschool would be available to all children. Our public schools would be safe and secure, with highly qualified and trained teachers who would provide a rigorous academic and creative experience. All kids would grow up in safe environments with parents or caregivers who were empowered to seek out and access any service needed to support the health and education of their child.
Systemic injustices that create barriers to kids achieving their full potential must end.
To achieve this widely shared vision, we must embrace equity, diversity, and inclusion. Together, we can confront the barriers that stand in the way of children of color being able to reach their full potential. We need to harness and coordinate the voices of the thousands of organizations that serve and care about kids along with the enormous public support, and use that to push our state’s leaders to do what they know is right – but are too often pulled away from by the advocacy of other more effectively organized interests. By adapting the proven strategies of other groups, we can overcome the scarcity model that means kids of color always get less and resource competition that fosters the faulty notion that investing more in one area of children’s wellbeing means divesting in another.
Children Now has the model for producing that power for kids.
We are changing the equation from zero sum to more for all kids, especially kids of color and kids in poverty, through the four components of our strategic approach adopted from successful interest groups:
Full Coverage of the Issues
Children Now takes a whole-child approach, covering the full-range of key children’s issues, from prenatal through age 26, including early childhood development, education, children’s health, childhood trauma and resilience, foster care, and youth justice. This representation allows us to develop sensible policies, because children’s issues are interdependent and can’t be developed effectively in silos. Working across sectors allows us to identify, effective solutions that may not be visible when looking at the problem from one sector’s viewpoint. It also allows us to avoid the fragmentation that often pits single-issue organizations against each other causing strong solutions to be unintentionally derailed.
Deep Research and Policy Expertise
Our staff is highly respected across the state for their research, policy, communications, and network building expertise on child-serving systems, financing, programs, and practices. The organization prides itself on developing deep relationships with state and local leaders and all the major relevant players across the health, education, early childhood, and child welfare fields, from other advocates to providers to parent groups to business interests to the youth themselves This expertise allows us to gain the buy-in and support for the solutions we collectively develop, and elevate them to decision-makers who have trust that these solutions serve the best interest of kids.
Children Now’s expert representation of the range of issues affecting the whole child allows us to reposition all our issues as “doing what’s best for kids.” We’ve boiled down this position to simple, two-word messaging: “Pro-Kid.” This simple messaging allows us to galvanize support for complex issues and sends a powerful message to policymakers about the importance of the issues.
Outside Grassroots Pressure
The strongest interest groups call on a single, massive membership to take action at the right time. These grassroots voices are coordinated with the inside work, and mobilized at a strategic point in time to speak in unison to have greater influence. Children Now leads The Children’s Movement of California® to connect the thousands of direct service, parent, youth, business, civil rights, faith- and community-based groups to speak at the right time with one voice on behalf of kids. More than 3,000 organizations have already joined this network. Together, the sheer number and diversity of these voices creates the most powerful interest group.