Young children sitting on the floor in a classroom

Young children experience new adventures each day, and little ones need all of the support they can get during these early years. 

Responding to the 2020 Census is an easy, safe, and important way to help provide resources for children and their communities for the next 10 years.

Everyone living in the United States is asked to complete a simple questionnaire every ten years that asks for basic information about the people who live or sleep in their home. Children under the age of five, however, are often missed. 

Young children who are missed in the census tend to live with large, extended families or with multiple families living under one roof. When newborn babies and children are not counted, support for programs such as health insurance, hospitals, childcare, food assistance, schools, and early childhood development is impacted.

Responding to the census is easier than ever. You can complete the census questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail. And remember, just as you protect the children in your care, the U.S. Census Bureau protects your information. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect any personal information collected and keep it strictly confidential. All Census Bureau staff take a lifetime oath to protect your personal information and any violation of this oath comes with a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years in prison.

Here are some tips to help you decide where and how to count young children.

  • Count children in the home where they live and sleep most of the time, even if their parents don’t live there.
  • If a child’s time is divided between more than one home, count them where they stay most often. If their time is evenly divided, or you don’t know where they stay most often, count them where they are staying on Census Day—April 1, 2020.
  • If a child’s family (or guardian) is moving during March or April 2020, count them at the address where they are living on April 1, 2020.
  • Count children in your home if they don’t have a permanent place to live and are staying in your home on April 1, 2020, even if they are only staying with you temporarily.
  • Count newborn babies at the home where they will live and sleep most of the time, even if they are still in the hospital on April 1, 2020

For more information about counting young children in the 2020 Census, visit