Children rely on responsible adults—to do what’s right, what’s needed, and what works.

Accountable Adults

Budget Analyses

Early investments in solutions that set kids on a trajectory of success are much more cost-effective than dealing with the aftermath of their struggle or failure. As Rochester’s own Frederick Douglass said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” As a nation, a state, and a community, our public policy is failing the test—with 90 percent of spending focused after age five, after 90 percent of brain development has already occurred.

The Children’s Agenda works to ensure elected officials fulfill their obligation to support, protect, and defend children, youth, and their families. As an independent advocacy organization, that means being impartial, deliberate, and persistent in keeping the policy and funding decisions most beneficial to kids at the top of the local, state, and federal agenda.

Our recommendations for smart, effective investments span the age spectrum and the issue spectrum:

  • Increasing the number of parents who receive parenting education through home visitation.
  • Increasing the number of children who receive high-quality early care and education.
  • Increasing the number of children who receive support for social emotional health.
We analyze annual budgets to ensure public expenditures map to what’s effective and what does the most good. With no affiliation with or funding from government or children’s services providers, we look at the impact of proposed funding plans on kids and families in the City of Rochester, Monroe County, and greater New York State. We look out for taxpayers, making sure that expenditures are for evidence-based preventive programs that work—not expensive, remedial, or ineffective programs.

Rochester City Budgets

Monroe County Budgets

New York State Budgets

If you are interested in reviewing more analyses from previous years, please contact Brigit Hurley at or (585) 256-2620 x2602. Kids can’t vote, so we have to vote for them. The Children’s Agenda invites candidates in city, county, state, and federal elections to answer nonpartisan questionnaires about problems facing Monroe County’s children and youth—and the policy and funding solutions they require from our elected officials. Together with issue briefings, candidate forums, and communications with voters, we work to keep kids’ issues top-of-mind among candidates and public officials, the media, and voters alike.

County Executive and County Legislative Questionnaire Results

Outcomes in children’s health, education and well-being are broadly affected by public policies and government action and inaction.   Each election season, we ask candidates to share their positions and perspectives on these issues with The Children’s Agenda and our 4,000+ supporters in every district throughout Monroe County.    The questionnaire serves to assess and expand candidates’ knowledge of solutions to childhood poverty, increase awareness of issues surrounding children in Monroe County, and encourage candidates to develop clear action plans. Additional surveys will be posted as they are received from candidates.