EVERY CHILD MATTERS EDUCATION FUND AND VOTE KIDS LAUNCH TELEVISION AD CAMPAIGN URGING PASSAGE OF OBAMA BUDGET CONTAINING ÂTHE CHILD SAFETY NETÂ
Ads to Air Nationally and in Maine, Louisiana, Kentucky and Nebraska
WASHINGTON, D.C.///April 14, 2009///A major new advertising campaign kicks off this week in support of the ÂThe Child Safety NetÂ in the Obama budget. Every Child Matters Education Fund will air the ads nationally and in Maine, Louisiana and Nebraska. The Kentucky version of the ad is being sponsored by Vote Kids. The ads are produced by Squier Knapp Dunn Communications, a well-known communications and advertising firm.
The ECMEF ads can be viewed online at http://www.everychildmatters.org/National/Campaigns/budget-Ad-Campaign.html.
ECMEF President Michael R. Petit said: "The Obama budget makes programs for children a top priority. This is exactly the far-sighted approach that our nation needs if we want to encourage the development of more productive, taxpaying citizens and reduce the number of people incarcerated or supported by public assistance. We urge members of Congress to consider the importance of the Child Safety Net and support the PresidentÂs budget.Â
Petit explained that the ÂChild Safety NetÂ includes Head Start, Early Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Under the Obama budget these programs would receive much needed funding to serve more children. SCHIP would be further funded to enlist millions of children. Other programs targeted for increases in the Obama budget include: affordable housing and support for low-income, first-time mothers and mothers-to-be through the Nurse Home Visitation program.
The Child Safety Net programs help children lead healthy lives and give them a chance to grow up to be productive citizens. Research shows that when the basic needs of children are not being met -- when they are abused, neglected, hungry, homeless and otherwise not fully supported -- they all too often turn to an adulthood lived on public assistance or in crime. By investing in children early, we can avoid the great social cost associated with supporting those who cannot support themselves. The ads make this point by contrasting the lives of two children, one who gets support and one who does not.
The full text of the national TV spot reads as follows:
One had Head Start, school lunches.
This one Â no Pre-K, rarely a decent meal.
This kid had checkups, daycare, college loans. And now, a good job.
This one, a drop out, life on the streetsÂ or worse.
Early investment in kids pays off.
We need to fund programs in the Child Safety Net.
President ObamaÂs budget makes children a top priority.
We need the PresidentÂs budget, because in America, Every Child Matters.
The Maine advertisement is addressed to Senators Snowe and Collins. The Louisiana ad references Senator Vitter and Congressman Cao. In Nebraska, the ad is addressed to Senators Nelson and Johanns. Senators McConnell and Bunning are referenced in the Kentucky ad sponsored by Vote Kids.
THE FACTS: THE PLIGHT OF AMERICAÂS CHILDREN
According to the latest edition of the ECMEF report ÂHomeland Insecurity,Â the status of AmericaÂs most vulnerable children looks like this:
* 13 million American children live in povertyÂs grip. The U.S. has the worst child poverty rate among 24 rich countries. Over the last 45 years, U.S. policies produced spectacular drops in elderly poverty rates; now the elderly are the least poor. During the same period, child poverty remained constant. One reason: Federal spending in 2007 was nearly seven times greater for persons over age 65 than under age 18 Â $27,289 per person versus $4,000 per person, respectively.
* Eight million American children are without health insurance. Over a two-year period, nearly 27 million children will have no coverage for at least some period of time.
* More than three million children are reported abused and neglected. About 1,500 U.S. children die each year as a result of abuse or neglect at home, with nearly 80 percent of the fatalities involving infants and toddlers under the age of four.
* Only half of eligible three- and four-year-olds are served by Head Start, the governmentÂs early childhood development program. Early Head Start, for infants and toddlers under three, serves only one in 20 of those eligible.
* Nearly two million children have parents in prison.
* As many as 14 million children are on their own after school. Among them are an estimated 40,000 kindergarteners.
ABOUT EVERY CHILD MATTERS
The Every Child Matters Education Fund (ECMEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on making the needs of children and youth a national political priority and promoting the adoption of smart policies for children, youth, and familiesÂincluding stopping child abuse, helping working families with child care, expanding pre-school education and after-school programs, and ensuring that children receive good health care. For more information about Every Child Matters, go to www.EveryChildMatters.org on the Web.
ABOUT VOTE KIDS
Created in 2002, Vote Kids is a nonprofit organization 501(c)(4) organization devoted to making children a political priority , not a political afterthought, and demanding that public officials support better policies for kids by mobilizing voters, running campaigns spotlighting the voting records of selected legislators, promoting children and family issues, and creating a database of voters with a strong interest in voting for children.
CONTACT: Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.