No Kidding: Children's Alliance Blog

The budget cuts’ impact on kids

Child holding "Kids Not Cuts" sign, Olympia, Feb. 2010

It’s the worst we’ve seen.

That’s our assessment of new cuts to state services. The across-the-board budget reductions are more severe than anything we’ve experienced recently. They’re also being made in an extremely challenging context.

The budget that was finalized this spring, during the last legislative session, did not anticipate the persistently slow economy. And, rather than our elected representatives deliberating in public over cuts, these decisions are being made by the Governor in consultation with agency secretaries and assistant secretaries. They are decisions as momentous as any made during the last legislative session, only without legislators convening to hear and represent their constituents’ concerns.

WA could win up to $1.3 million for home visiting


The federal government has finally released the guidelines states need to apply for their slice of $1.5 billion in new grant funding for home visiting programs, which connect new and expectant parents with trained nursing and early learning professionals.

The new guidelines issued late last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will allow Washington to apply for up to $1.3 million this year.

The first wave of these grants, part of federal health care reform that became law in March, will go to states this summer.

Over the next few weeks and months, we and our allies on the Washington Home Visiting Coalition will be working with state agencies and stakeholders on a plan for how Washington will use these home visiting funds.

Approve Best Starts for Kids: statement by King County Executive Dow Constantine


“I am so pleased the Children’s Alliance has endorsed King County Proposition 1: Best Starts for Kids. The moms, dads, and advocates for kids who make up the Children’s Alliance know what is good for kids and our communities – and know that when we speak up, we can get results. The Children’s Alliance knows that when we invest in opportunity for children in low income families and children of color, we improve our communities for everyone.

“I am delighted that the Children’s Alliance, which usually focuses on state and federal policy, has chosen to put their stamp of approval on an initiative that’s vital to the kids in Martin Luther King Jr. County. Together, we can ensure that all our children have a clear path toward a healthy future full of opportunity. 

Hungry in Washington: Families with children experience greater food insecurity

A Children's Alliance analysis of new government figures shows that hungry families are not experiencing an economic recovery.

According to the most recent report on food insecurity and hunger in America released September 9th by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the national rate of hunger in 2014 did not improve over 2013’s rate of 5.6 percent.

Celebrating Progress for Kids


Parents, elected officials, community-based leaders and other advocates for kids gathered in Auburn on Saturday to celebrate a significant victory in the 2015 legislature: the full restoration of food assistance for migrant families. As the photos show, it was a proud moment. 

Children's Alliance food policy director Linda Stone and executive director Paola Maranan at the victory celebration for State Food Assistance on Sept. 12. Staff joined parents, leaders and other advocates to mark the full restoration of nutritional benefits for thousands of Washington kids and families.

Here’s how our executive director, Paola Maranan, greeted the partygoers:

“I am proud and humbled to be here with you today to celebrate a victory that was only made possible by you. Five years ago we came together to organize and advocate to save State Food Assistance. Through those years you—parents, grandparents and youth who courageously spoke the truth about your own experiences; grassroots organizations that stood in solidarity with families; service providers and food banks that spoke up for equity; legislators who advocated among your own colleagues to right this wrong—you have given your hearts, your time and your voice to this campaign.

“At Children’s Alliance we believe in every child’s potential, and we know that good public policies advance equity and help all kids reach that vast potential. State Food Assistance is one of those good policies.

Progress for Kids: our work in the 2015 legislative session

Created on: Friday, August 28, 2015 - 11:55am

For Washington to thrive, all of our children must thrive. That's why Children's Alliance partners with parents and other community leaders to push for public investments in key areas of child well-being.

This year, by opening the doors of power in Olympia to parents and advocates from across the state, we achieved two historic victories.

Read more

A Promising Strategy to Feed Hungry Kids

Kids that go to school hungry don’t perform as well academically, limiting their opportunity to reach their full potential. We know that one in five kids in Washington state live in households that struggle to put food on the table. We also know that the legacy of structural racism in our country means that this reality is even starker for kids of color.
Luckily, for school districts in high-poverty neighborhoods across Washington state, there is a promising solution to address hunger and help reduce the opportunity gap in education: the Community Eligibility provision. School districts have until Monday, Aug. 31 to enroll.

Growth in Economy Hasn’t Helped Families Facing Economic Hardship

Posted on: Monday, July 20, 2015 - 2:34pm
SEATTLE – An additional 78,000 Washington children are growing up in poverty today than in 2008, at the start of the Great Recession. And child poverty is more common for Washington’s Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, Black, American Indian and Latino children. 

Exciting Progress on Access to Dental Care


This past legislative session, Washingtonians spoke up for better access to dental health care for children and families. While the Dental Access Bill was blocked by narrow special interests, advocacy and progress are marching forward outside the legislature.

A Historic Victory for Washington's Children


Passage of the Early Start Act is great news for parents, children, and all Washingtonians who share in the vision of every child succeeding in school and in life.

With today’s vote, a strong bipartisan majority of the House and Senate have sent the Early Start Act (House Bill 1491) to Governor Inslee’s desk.

We applaud the legislative leaders for early learning in all four caucuses—Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle), Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island), Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) and Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane)—and the many legislators who supported the Early Start Act. They have acted on the years of research showing that high quality early learning builds stronger families, better schools, more self-reliant adults and safer communities. Early learning is a necessary part of any strategy to close the opportunity gap facing too many of Washington’s children in low-income families and children of color.

Click here for photos of advocates and kids celebrating as Gov. Jay Inslee signs the Act.  

Children's Alliance deputy director Jon Gould with early learning leaders Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla, left) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle, right) after the passage of the Early Start Act in the House of Representatives on Sunday, June 28.

Children's Alliance deputy director Jon Gould with early learning leaders Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla, left) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle, right) after the passage of the Early Start Act in the House of Representatives on Sunday, June 28.




Combined with a historic $158 million investment in early learning in the 2015-17 budget, passage of the Early Start Act marks a new level of commitment to early learning in Washington.