In Defense of Children

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Viewpoints and analysis from the CDF Policy team on issues impacting children. CDF’s policy advocacy focuses on the whole child because children don’t come in pieces. We seek to end child poverty and give every child a healthy start, a quality early childhood experience, a level education playing field, safe families and communities free from violence—with special attention to children involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.


2020: CDF’s Year in Review

The Children’s Defense Fund spent much of 2020 pushing Congress to take action to protect children and families from the harmful impacts of our country’s health, economic, and racial disparities while continuing to defend against harmful regulatory and administrative policies set forth by the Trump administration.  Our commitment to children and policies that protect them has never wavered, and we know we have many fights ahead to keep children and families safe in the new year. But as we reach the end of an unprecedented year, we are taking a moment to celebrate some important wins for children and families in 2020. 

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Why It’s Time to Think Universal School Meals for Our Children

Child nutrition programs help our nation’s children get the food they need to learn, grow, and thrive—especially children in low-income households. The long-standing problem of school meal access and reimbursements, lunch shaming, lunch debt, and the stigmatization of children having to prove they are hungry and worthy of meals means millions of children lose out. It’s past time to abandon burdensome reimbursement and eligibility requirements and fully fund universal school meals for every child so that our programs are flexible and robust to meet children’s needs, not the other way around. 

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After Nine Months of Neglecting the Needs of Children and Families, Congress Will Finally Vote on a COVID Relief Bill

After nine months of failing to pass a COVID relief bill and neglecting the needs of millions of children and families suffering the unprecedented public health, racial justice, and economic and unemployment crisis brought on by this pandemic, Congress will finally vote on a long overdue bipartisan relief bill. While this package was a step in the right direction under a strict timeline ahead of the holidays, it does not include many additional provisions that are needed to fully meet the needs of all our nation’s children and families, especially the most vulnerable.

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They Should Be High School Freshmen

Eight years ago today, twenty first-graders and six teachers were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in an unthinkable act of violence. Among the victims were children like Ana Grace, who loved to sing and loved to dance; Noah, who loved superheroes and Legos; and Charlotte, who dreamed of opening an animal shelter. These and all the students horrifically murdered at Sandy Hook should have started high school this fall—but they never got the chance.

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The SUNSET Proposed Rule Would Undermine Important HHS Services for Children and Families

On November 4th, the Trump Administration released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if implemented, would dramatically alter the regulatory landscape and would bury the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under a mountain of red tape for the next two years. The thousands of regulations in place at HHS are crucial for keeping children healthy, safe, and prepared to succeed. Our children deserve a regulatory environment that is carefully crafted to protect their safety and well-being, not one that has been hastily constructed under arbitrary rules.

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CDF Celebrates District Judge’s Ruling that DACA Must be Reinstated

On Friday, a district judge in New York ruled that DHS must reinstate DACA immediately. Though we must remain vigilant and continue to pursue justice for DACA recipients over the coming weeks, we are excited to celebrate this victory. DACA recipients and their families deserve protection and security: this ruling is a meaningful step in undoing many of the continuous threats to the safety and wellbeing of DACA recipients and the quarter of a million children of DACA recipients.

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Why Changes to the Tax Credits Are Critical Before Congress Adjourns

Before Congress leaves for the holidays, critical changes are needed to adjust how our tax credits are calculated for next year's tax filing season. Unfortunately, neither the bipartisan framework nor the McConnell stimulus package includes changes to the tax credits, and that’s a problem for children and families.

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Eviction Moratorium Is Expiring and Millions of Children Are at Risk of Losing Their Home

The rent has come due again amid another spike in COVID-19 cases and millions of families can’t afford to pay. According to the latest Census data, 1 in 4 renter families with children are behind on the rent. The only thing standing between these families and eviction is the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) temporary eviction moratorium, which took effect in September and is set to expire at the end of the year. If the eviction moratorium is not extended by the CDC before the year’s end and does not include some changes to the existing language to ensure more families are covered, 30 to 40 million renters are at risk of losing their home.

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