The Children’s Movement of California

What it means to be Pro-Kid, and how you can help get wins for kids!

By The Children’s Movement Team

What is The Children’s Movement of California?

The Children’s Movement of California is a diverse statewide network of more than 5,000, and growing, organizational members – including direct service, parent, student, business, labor, civic, faith-based, and community-based groups that care about kids and want to see public policy prioritize their well-being. See the full membership list here.


Why was it created?

The Children’s Movement was born out of the question: why, when the vast majority of people want to create equal opportunity for all kids – regardless of race or income – do kids fare so poorly in public policymaking?

We found the problem to some degree was the children’s advocacy field itself, represented by thousands of disconnected groups, pursuing a variety of issues, in their own silos. To address this problem, we researched the strongest interest groups in the country and adapted and implemented their core strategies to create a powerful model for children’s advocacy, at the center of which is The Children’s Movement of California.

The most powerful interest groups call on a single, massive membership to take collective action, and speak with one voice, at the right time. Yet in the kids’ space, there are thousands of existing organizations, many with their own organized memberships. To be most effective, those voices have to be coordinated and mobilized at strategic points in time to speak in unison and affect change. The Children’s Movement is that united voice for California kids, and it’s a powerful vehicle for achieving systemic change and securing needed investments and reforms to ensure all children have the services and support they need to thrive.


How does The Children’s Movement work?

When an organization joins The Children’s Movement, they are publicly identifying as “Pro-Kid” – the only requirement for membership is affirming children should be prioritized in policymaking. In addition to being on the “Pro-Kid” list, members receive:

  1. Opportunities to participate in collective action opt-in advocacy campaigns that impact critical policymaking decisions, and help improve the lives of all kids in California;
  2. Informational resources, including invitations to webinars and access to research reports with powerful data about kids’ well-being in California; and
  3. Access to leading policy experts who provide updates on pressing children’s issues and advocate on their behalf in Sacramento to enact change.

There is no cost to join, and members can engage as much or as little as they are able in The Children’s Movement. Join here.


What has The Movement accomplished?

The impact of The Children’s Movement is proven and growing. When state leaders receive an advocacy letter signed by hundreds of Pro-Kid organizations, they recognize the power of the Movement and feel the pressure to do right by kids across California.

Since its inception, the Movement has achieved several significant wins for kids, including:

  • Parents and caregivers now have greater access to critical bonding time with their loved ones in their times of need: In September 2022, a letter was signed by more than 300 organizations urging the Governor to sign Senate Bill 951 and expand Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance to better support low wage workers who take time off to support their families. Just two weeks after the letter was delivered, the Governor signed the bill, increasing wage replacement from 60 percent to 90 percent of one’s income for low wage workers.
  • Additional supports for child care: Our grassroots advocacy through this letter in June 2022 helped secure key supports for child care in the 2022-23 State budget, including a $157.3 million fee waiver for families receiving subsidized child care and $100 million for child care infrastructure grants. The letter called on state leaders to prioritize child care and make bold investments in the people and systems that serve young children.
  • Financial relief secured for more than 500,000 kids and families covered by Medi-Cal: A letter signed by more than 450 organizations requesting that Medi-Cal premiums for kids and pregnant individuals be eliminated in the 2022-23 State Budget was delivered in November 2021. As a result of this effort, the State made an ongoing general fund investment of $19 million and zeroed out Medi-Cal premiums for over 500,000 kids and pregnant individuals, increasing their access to health care services.
  • Securing critical investments in early care and education and mental health: In 2021, the Children’s Movement coordinated two letters – that had more than 1,825 organizational sign-ons combined – highlighting top budget priorities, including calling for an investment of at least $5 billion in child care, including new state dollars on top of federal funds. The final 2021-22 State Budget included all of our asks, including essential action to provide mental health services at school sites.
  • Statewide advocacy effort to prioritize kids: More than 1,000 organizational members signed on to a letter urging Governor Newsom and the Legislature to truly prioritize kids in the 2020-21 State Budget. This unprecedented state advocacy effort helped ensure that the final budget agreement protected kids’ programs, including rescinding proposed cuts to education and early childhood.
  • Trauma-informed support for kids in foster care: Collectively, we worked to establish and support the Family Urgent Response System, a 24/7 statewide hotline and county mobile response system that will help ensure youth in foster care and caregivers can access trauma-informed supports during critical moments. This effort included garnering support from over 700 groups through the Children’s Movement.
  • Historic home visiting state budget win: Advocacy efforts via the Children’s Movement garnered support from more than 500 organizations that resulted in the adoption of a multi-year investment in home visiting. The CalWORKs Home Visiting Initiative – the first-ever state investment in home visiting – included an initial investment of $158.5 million over three years.

And we’re just getting started!


How can I get involved?

To become a member of The Children’s Movement, please join here.

If you’re already a member – thank you for being Pro-Kid! Please considering sharing this information with like-minded organizations in your network so that we can grow The Children’s Movement and achieve even bigger wins for California kids in the future!