Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

No Kidding! The Children's Alliance blog

Hungry kids can't learn


We look forward to the celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, 50 years after the start of the War on Poverty that he helped to launch. One key strategy in the War on Poverty has been a commitment to the health and well-being of America’s children, through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).

This session, Children’s Alliance members are asking state legislators to fulfill a key part of the American promise – basic help in hard times – by bringing State Food Assistance up to parity with federal SNAP benefits.

Innovation that Kids Need

 

Our elected representatives returned to Olympia this week, and in the midst of a fragile economic recovery, many of them are asking an important question: How do we manage the state’s finite resources in ways that build strong families and healthy communities?

There’s growing momentum for one good answer: a mid-level dental practitioner trained to provide routine, cost-effective oral health care where it’s most urgently needed.

Our work in Olympia in 2014


The Children's Alliance 2014 legislative agenda was finalized this week. When the 2014 State Legislature convenes in Olympia in the second week of January, we'll be calling on legislators to:

Food Stamps, Kids, and Courage

Last Friday, more than 1.1 million of our fellow Washingtonians saw their food assistance benefits cut, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) expired.

On Early Learning, a Bipartisan Stance


The evidence continues to grow showing that the educational opportunity gap begins early – as young as 18 months.

Fortunately, parents, early childhood educators, and public officials know how to close that gap. That’s why they’re calling for increased investments in preschool, quality child care, voluntary home visiting and other programs that support the healthy development of young children.

Momentum Builds for Youngest Learners


NOTE to OUR READERS: Last week, federal lawmakers reached an agreement that not only reopened the government – but granted Congress time to undo the harm of the sequester and then make the budget decisions that put our nation’s kids and families on a solid footing. Washington’s own Sen. Patty Murray will co-chair a House-Senate conference committee looking at long-term budget solutions – including, potentially, a state-federal early-learning initiative that could help bridge the educational opportunity gap. We at Children’s Alliance are looking forward to a productive conversation about this national initiative – a conversation similar to that happening within the State of Washington and the City of Seattle.

Puzzling together health care reform


The Washington HealthPlanFinder will open for business on Tuesday, October 1st. This is a big opportunity for families to get the coverage they need to thrive. 

Puzzle_health The HealthPlanFinder’s web site and call center are intended to help adults find, compare and enroll in the health plan that best suits them. Why should that matter to children? Because when parents go shopping for a plan for themselves, they’re more likely to find one that works for their kids, too.

That’s why, since the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress in 2010, we at the Children’s Alliance have worked hard to make health care reform work for kids in Washington. We’ve done that by:

  • Bringing the advocacy and experience of members of the Health Coalition for Children and Youth to the table with public officials so kids don’t get lost in the shuffle;

Our support for Seattle early learning initiatives


We applaud Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle City Council for their visionary early learning proposals.

The combination of universal voluntary preschool for all 3 and 4 year old children with high quality child care and parent support could significantly improve the odds of school and life success for Seattle’s youth.

Support is broad for infants, toddlers, preschoolers

 

It’s not just sound science to give kids under age 5 the chance to build a foundation for future learning. It’s also good politics.

A bipartisan research team recently found overwhelming support for ensuring that children gain the knowledge and skills necessary to start kindergarten off on the right foot.

Researchers polled 800 voters across the United States, outlining the broad contours of a federal proposal to help states and local communities expand early learning programs for children ages birth to 5. Voters’ responses revealed two encouraging facts:

Stronger Together: Our Work in the 2013 Legislative Session


Our 2013 Legislative Report describes the Children's Alliance's work for kids in partnership with coalitions and individuals from all across Washington state.

report cover
Together, our teamwork over the 2013 session won:

  • Equitable health care: we strengthened Apple Health for Kids so that it now offers affordable coverage to all children;
  • Quality pre-K: we expanded the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program so it meets the early learning needs of more children;
  • Food for kids: we won a partial restoration of food stamp benefits for thousands of children and immigrant families.