Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

No Kidding! The Children's Alliance blog

Working toward a Proven Oral Health Solution

 

From Port Angeles to Pasco, from Walla Walla to Westport, too many of our most vulnerable neighbors are not getting the dental care they need.

When kids have untreated cavities, they spend their time in school dealing with their pain, not paying attention to their teacher. When adults have toothaches and infections, they miss work. For adults who have lost teeth to decay, it can be nearly impossible to find a decent job. Seniors often suffer silently, while oral health problems worsen and make them sick. In many of our communities, our emergency rooms are left to provide expensive, stop-gap care that treats the symptoms, and not the cause of the problem.

Last year, the state took great strides forward in providing insurance for more than 700,000 people in need.

Communities Support State Food Assistance

 

Seventy-one community based organizations from across the state have joined together to call for full restoration of State Food Assistance for our children, elders, and families. They distributed this letter to state legislators on Friday, Feb. 7. It’s reproduced below, or available here in PDF form.

Dear Esteemed Washington State Legislators and Governor Inslee,

We are coming together once again from all around Washington State, from diverse communities, to call on you to restore State Food Assistance to equal benefit levels with Basic Food.

Mister President: Please Veto the Farm Bill


All children deserve healthy food so they can thrive. But the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have reached agreement on a farm bill that makes harmful cuts to Basic Food, our state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.

These cuts would harm Washington’s kids. That’s why the Children’s Alliance has asked the White House to veto the Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill cut would come on top of the Nov. 1 cut in federal stimulus funding, and after a 2012 reduction in State Food Assistance. We’re working hard to restore equal benefits for ALL Washington families by working in Olympia to bring State Food Assistance benefits up to par with Basic Food.

The State of the Union and our Youngest Children


Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education. Last year, I asked this Congress to help states make high-quality pre-K available to every 4-year-old. And as a parent as well as a president, I repeat that request tonight.

—President Obama, State of the Union, Jan. 28, 2014

 

A year ago, President Obama released the outlines of a bold new initiative to put quality pre-kindergarten within reach of every child in America. On Tuesday night, the President reiterated his request, emphasizing the promise of early learning.

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.