Policy Papers & Issue Briefs
State lawmakers can take important steps to improve kids’ lives in the 2019 state legislative session. Candidates for the Washington state legislature will make critical choices for our kids if they are elected in November. Their choices can help kids have great childhoods and grow up strong, and advance racial equity and opportunity for all our kids. Here are five questions for candidates for the state legislature about Children’s Alliance 2019 priorities for Washington’s children, youth and families.
Children’s Alliance has taken the following positions on statewide ballot measures.
We believe in the potential of every child. Poverty and racism erode kids’ opportunities. Our 2019 legislative agenda (PDF) reflects smart public policies that remove barriers and create opportunity—so all kids can thrive.
Early Learning to Help Kids Succeed: More infants, toddlers and preschool-age children should have the quality experiences that set them up for success in school.
In the 2018 legislative session, Children’s Alliance led our many partners across Washington to advocate for good public policy—laws and public investments that create opportunity for Washington’s children.
We all have a stake in the basic services and supports that help Washington’s kids. We count on programs and services, quality schools, health care and other public goods that make Washington great. Our shared investments contribute to quality early learning, child nutrition, and other services and supports that let kids thrive.
Children’s Alliance proudly supports Initiative 940. It’s good for kids and public safety.
Every child in our state should have the opportunity to thrive: a quality education supported by parents and community from cradle to career; enough healthy food to eat each day; and access to comprehensive, affordable health care that optimizes their well-being.
In our Learn, Love, Lead! email series, we show what we can do together to protect and support Washington's children from new federal threats. Each week, we provide a resource you can learn from and share, or an action you can take to be the leader kids are counting on.
Whether you and your family are targeted by rising hate or a particular policy, or you want to act in solidarity with children and families in your community, we are here to support your actions to protect kids’ well-being and happiness today, and help them grow into their enormous potential.
I. Short-Term Opportunities: Now through November 2017
Research Brief: Early Learning Improves Kindergarten Readiness for All and Dramatically Reduces Disparities for Kids of Color
We all have a stake in making sure that, from the day they’re born, kids can have the enriching experiences they need to get off to a great start in life. Research has found quality early learning can give children the tools they need to thrive academically and emotionally throughout their young lives and beyond.
The creation of a consolidated Department of Children, Youth and Families is an historic opportunity to improve outcomes for all children, especially those who face barriers to their healthy development and learning.
We support the proposal for a Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), with the following priorities:
Dental therapists can make dental care accessible.
Dental therapists work as part of the dental team to provide routine and preventive care.
Dental therapists can provide care to underserved kids and families in rural, low-income, and tribal communities and communities of color across Washington. They can also bring care to more kids and parents covered by Apple Health, and to those who are uninsured.
Children in Washington need dental therapists.
The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is quality preschool that’s good for kids, parents and schools.
Washington has some of the highest child-care (including preschool) costs in the nation. That means some kids, disproportionately kids in low-income families and children of color, miss out on early experiences in preschool that can help them have a great childhood and thrive in kindergarten. ECEAP expands equitable access to high-quality, culturally responsive preschool.
FACT: Dental therapists will work within a narrowly defined scope of practice to provide important and needed routine and preventive care to Washingtonians who currently can’t get it.
The proposal to consolidate programs and services into a Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) in Washington State is a once in a generation opportunity to structure government for positive outcomes for children, youth, and families.
While there are many important aspects of this endeavor, the Children’s Alliance has identified four key areas for the focus of our advocacy. We recognize there are many issues involved and we will also play a supportive role on other issues that are deeply felt by our community.
These are our four priorities:
More than 385,000 children insured by Apple Health for Kids are not receiving any kind of dental care, including emergency visits. Similarly, nearly 3 in 10 children with private dental coverage in Washington did not receive any dental care on a yearly basis in 2013. In contrast, the proportion of children who visited their primary care provider in 2015 was much higher, with 89-98 percent of children aged 1-19 receiving care.
The following positions on statewide ballot measures for the 2016 general election have been taken by the Children’s Alliance.
Initiative 732: NO
While designed to fight climate change, Initiative 732 threatens children in two ways. First, its tax breaks are insufficient to counter its full costs to low-income families, who are disproportionately families of color. Second, it’s predicted to worsen the state’s budget shortfall—jeopardizing programs and services kids need to thrive.