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Our Work

Voter-Approved Children’s Funds

Photo credit: Yes for NOLA Kids
Voter-approved children’s funds pose a unique opportunity for states and communities to harness public will to increase funding for children and youth and fill existing funding gaps. We define voter-approved children’s funds as a portion of state or local tax revenue dedicated to children’s services via a ballot measure.

Dedicating funding via ballot measure creates a stream of sustained funding that cannot be cut or reassigned to a different purpose during annual budget processes. This allows children’s funds to focus on long-term impacts and to build a resilient and diverse network of programs and providers. Because voter-approved children’s funds are created from public dollars by voters, voter-approved children’s funds also have an increased burden of transparency and accountability that builds public awareness and support. No fund that has returned to the ballot for renewal has failed to achieve reauthorization.

Since Pinellas County, FL, created the first local children’s fund in 1946, local communities have created more than 50 funds nationwide. Together these funds generate over $1.5 billion annually for children and youth. These funds also exist at the state level when ballot measures afford voters the opportunity to dedicate revenue to child and youth services. Eight states have created voter-approved children’s funds, including New Mexico, where voters amended their constitution to dedicate $150 million in annual revenue from their Land Grant Permanent Fund to early childhood in 2022. Since 2019, Children’s Funding Project and our partner advocacy organization Children’s Funding Accelerator have supported the creation and reauthorization of 12 local voter-approved children’s funds and two state voter-approved children’s funds. 

How children's funding project helps

We provide technical assistance, create tools, and organize events and training cohorts for states and localities seeking to establish, administer, or reauthorize voter-approved children’s funds.


We research available taxing options for a fund and advise advocates as they select their preferred approach.


We provide individual technical assistance from idea to campaign to implementation for states and localities seeking to establish voter-approved children’s funds.


We host a national peer learning cohort and a biennial in-person training event, our Children’s Funding Institute, for communities pursuing local voter-approved children’s funds.


We support new voter-approved children’s funds and host the only community of practice for leaders of existing funds.

Featured Resources
Case studies from Campaigns We Supported

Contact us to find out how we can help in your community.