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.

MEDIA RELEASE: State Senator Christine Rolfes honored for work to expand access to high-quality early learning

Posted on: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 10:21pm



SEATTLE—Senator Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) was honored for her commitment to the first five years of a child’s life on Thursday, Sept. 29 , with a Crayon Award from the Early Learning Action Alliance.


“The foundation for educational success is built in the earliest years,” said Children’s Alliance deputy director Jon Gould. Access to high-quality early learning is critical to closing the gap for children who start out with fewer opportunities. Senator Rolfes understands that early learning builds strong kids and strong communities. Her public service has improved opportunities for Washington’s children.”


Paid Sick Days Help Kids Reach their Full Potential


No parent should have to choose between caring for a sick child and earning a day’s pay. That’s one of the reasons behind our support for Initiative 1433, the measure to raise the minimum wage statewide and provide paid sick days to all Washington workers.


We know that improving economic security for 1 in 5 Washington parents will fight childhood hunger. And as Children’s Alliance staff and members noted at a Seattle preschool recently, I-1433 also means healthier kids.


The initiative, which affords workers one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked, is forecast to make the greatest difference in the lives of children living in
low-income households. Nationally, children in families living below a basic-needs threshold (around $32,000 for a family of two) are half as likely as other kids to have parents who can take time off when they or their children
are sick.

NEWS: Educators, parents and children’s health experts underscore the importance of paid sick leave as kids head back to school

SEATTLE – As Washington kids head back to school, educators, parents and children’s health experts gathered on Thursday to announce their support for the Yes on 1433 campaign, which would allow more than 1 million Washington workers to earn paid sick leave. According the the group, when parents don’t have access to paid sick leave it impacts the health and educational outcomes of children.

Initiative 1433, which will appear on the November ballot, would also raise the minimum wage to $13.50 over four years and has received key endorsements from the Children’s Alliance, the Washington Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers - Washington and Equity in Education Coalition.

"Initiative 1433 is good for Washington’s kids. Good jobs allow parents to look after a child when he or she is too sick for school. No parent should have to choose between a day’s pay and the needs of a sick child,” said Paola Maranan, executive director for the Children’s Alliance.

Media Release: State Senator Pramila Jayapal honored for expanding high-quality early learning


Contact: Adam Hyla E. Holdorf, Communications Director, Children’s Alliance, 206-326-9964

SEATTLE—State Senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37th) was honored for her commitment to the first five years of a child’s life today with a Crayon Award from the Early Learning Action Alliance.

The award was presented to Sen. Jayapal at a Rainier Valley preschool by representatives of the Early Learning Action Alliance and other advocates for quality early learning. The event was attended by families from throughout greater Seattle.

“Every child should have the right to access quality care,” said Zam Zam Mohamed, co-founder of Voices of Tomorrow, which aids child care providers in the East African immigrant community to meet state-level quality criteria. “Senator Jayapal has always been a strong advocate in early learning because she understands that school readiness is for every child.”

Twenty legislators recognized for efforts for young children

The Early Learning Action Alliance, 59 Washington organizations working together for the success of Washington’s youngest kids, has recognized 20 state Senators and Representatives for their achievements over the past two years.

Together, these legislators accomplished the following: 

  • passage of the historic, bipartisan Early Start Act, enhancing the quality and cultural relevance of early care;
  • fair compensation and critical training for in-home child care workers;

Poverty blocks progress, though Washington’s kids gain overall


Household incomes for Washington’s poorest families have yet to recover from the 2008 recession, according to the national 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation.


Washington is ranked 15th among the 50 states (PDF) in the Data Book this year; that’s four places higher than last year, when it was ranked 19th.


Since 2008, the number of children growing up without health coverage has improved by 38 percent. That’s good news, as coverage is all but essential for kids to see a health professional or get medicine when they’re sick. Credit is due to the state’s Cover All Kids law, which passed in 2007 and created affordable health coverage called Apple Health for Kids. The Affordable Care Act’s 2014 creation of a flexible market for individual plans has also propelled child coverage in Washington to one of the nation’s highest.


Yet the child poverty rate is nearly 30 percent higher than it was in 2008, with an additional 59,000 children growing up below the federal poverty level.

McCleary sanctions should advance, not restrict, educational opportunity


The state Supreme Court must not order action that would endanger children’s constitutional rights to educational opportunity.


So says an Amici Curiae brief filed by four organizations working together to advocate for kids in the context of the McCleary decision. The organizations are Columbia Legal Services, the Equity in Education Coalition, the Children’s Alliance and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.


Almost half of all Washington children—4 in 10—live in a family with inadequate income. And a rising share of the state’s student body are children of color, who tend to face implicit, institutional and structural racial bias that forms imposing barriers to their success. These factors—whether they take the form of financial insecurity, homelessness, foster care placement, poorer access to health care or household hunger—make a child’s educational opportunity fragile.