Voices’ Blog

Eyes Are on the Localities for Action for Children and Families: Fairfax County

Posted:  -  By: Emily Griffey

By Mary Beth Salomone Testa, Voices’ Northern Virginia Consultant 

After the dust has settled on the state budget, we turn our attention to local investments in school readiness. Here we highlight opportunities to act on the local level in Fairfax County. There will be more to come on other localities, including Alexandria.

On February 14, the Fairfax County Manager presented a budget proposal for the coming fiscal year (budget detail below).  As the Board of Supervisors prepares for local budget and policy choices, we urge them to prioritize and safeguard historical, local investments and preserve the reputation as a leader for local families.

Fairfax advocates: let’s take action! Sign up so we can work together to let the Board of Supervisors know we are counting on their leadership for children.

There are 53,447 children in economically disadvantaged families in Fairfax County – and that’s 20 percent of the children in the county. Their families are struggling to meet basic needs like food, housing, utilities, child care and transportation. Their children are more likely to face health and mental health challenges; less likely to have the opportunity to attend high quality early education; and face going without meals when not in school. Among these children, 8,518 are living in deep poverty in Fairfax County– with families earning below 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Review the latest KIDS COUNT data for the Northern Region and dive into more data about Fairfax County in the KIDS COUNT Data Center

The Fairfax County budget can prioritize the needs of economically disadvantaged children by investing in child care, Virginia Preschool Initiative, mental health and support services for students in high-poverty schools, and housing affordability.

Fairfax County Proposed FY18-19 Budget Detail

  • School readiness services are a priority in Fairfax – but the proposed $1 million proposed increase is for FY2019, not FY2018. Healthy Families Fairfax will get to serve more families in FY18, and that’s good news.
  • The county invests about $18 million in local dollars for child care subsidy, which makes a crucial difference. Fairfax must continue this investment. Despite this local leadership, there are 2,300 children on the waiting list for child care assistance in Fairfax County.

Get all the documents and details of the Fairfax County FY2018 Advertised Budget Plan here

Let’s get ready for action in Fairfax!

sample letter to Fairfax Supervisors 2.13.17– Read our letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Sign up with Voices for Virginia’s Children to take action in Fairfax County in March and April!

“Virginia’s Largest County again trims budget requests as revenues stay tepid” Washington Post February 14, 2017

“What do Northern Virginians want most from government? Relief from traffic congestion” Washington Post February 15, 2017

Read more about Healthy Families Fairfax

Read more about the school readiness efforts in Fairfax County and Voices’ 2015 profile of preschool services in Fairfax County

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