Policy Papers & Issue Briefs
The bipartisan, historic Early Start Act (H.B. 1491) enacts unprecedented policies and resources to help ensure all children a great start.
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES
Provides parents with information about the quality of early learning so that they can make informed choices for their children.
Supports continuity of care so that children receive the consistent care essential for
bonding and attachment and parents can count on stable care.
In 2015, Washington’s legislature passed and Governor Inslee signed the Early Start Act (HB 1491). The bipartisan, historic Early Start Act enacts unprecedented policies and resources to help ensure all children get the great start they need. The Early Start Act includes numerous provisions designed at increasing access to quality care for all children, particularly children in low-income families and children of color.
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.
All children deserve a great start in life. But our state’s tax system puts too many of them in harm’s way.
Revenues as a proportion of the economy have shrunk over the past 15 years, resulting in cuts to basic services. Children in communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by these cuts.
Ending these cuts boosts our economy. Ending the 25 percent cut to State Food Assistance would generate more than $17 million in economic activity through June 2017.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) promotes the economic security of children. This session, state lawmakers should restore the 15 percent cut to TANF. Read more.
High quality early learning is a targeted investment that reaps huge returns: proven outcomes in school and in life. Every child deserves the opportunity for a great start. Pass the Early Start Act with culturally relevant care provisions and funding needed to close the opportunity gap.
The bipartisan Early Start Act (HB 1491/SB 5452)
Sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle) and Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island), the Early Start Act aims to expand access to high quality early learning, particularly for children furthest from opportunity.
Washington ranks 41st out of 50 states in reaching low-income students with nutritious school breakfasts. Without a healthy breakfast, a student’s chance of success is drastically reduced.
The good news is there’s a solution: Breakfast After the Bell incorporates the most important meal into the school day – just like lunch!
Serving breakfast in the cafeteria before the school day starts presents many obstacles for kids and families. Bus and carpool schedules, social stigma, and peer pressure prevent kids from eating school breakfast at that time.
Washington’s success depends on great educational outcomes for all children.
But one in 5 Washington children lives in a household that doesn’t have enough food to get by. It's hard to learn when you are hungry. That’s why more than one million Washingtonians receive federal food stamp benefits, and approximately 15,600 legally residing immigrants use State Food Assistance (SFA).
All Washingtonians should be able to get dental care when they need it, regardless of where they live or how much money they have. Yet many can’t. Dental Therapists are licensed providers that extend the reach of the existing dental team. They can help people get the care they need to be healthy.
Dental Therapists will:
• Expand dental care access to families and communities.
• Save money by providing high quality routine, cost-effective care and preventing dental emergencies.
Mid-level dental providers are a cost effective strategy to increase access to care.
For the first time since 2008, our state's rate of hunger matched the national rate. However, the rate of hunger continues to be significantly higher than before the recession. The Children's Alliance estimates that 305,000 children live in food-insecure households. Read our report.
Click here for a copy of “Unfinished Business: Advocacy for Kids in the 2014 Legislature.”
Oral disease is painful, dangerous, and costly. It is also almost entirely preventable.
Yet across Washington State, thousands of children, adults, seniors, people with disabilities, and people in rural and Tribal communities can’t get preventive and routine dental care—either because they can’t afford it, or because there aren’t enough dentists in the places where they live. Learn more.
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. Read their letter to the Washington State Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee.
A reduction in State Food Assistance in 2012 put nearly 14,000 children in immigrant families at greater risk of hunger. This session, we ask lawmakers to add $4.6 million to State Food Assistance to restore full benefits for the 2014-15 budget. Read more.
In November, monthly Basic Food benefits will decrease across the nation. The federal law that boosted benefits during the Recession ends November 1. This 2009 law was called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Congress has not voted in more funding to keep the ARRA level of benefits. Read more.
Brains are like buildings – they start with a foundation. Birth through age 5 is a crucial time to give children the kinds of enriching experiences and environments they need to build a foundation for success – both in school and in life. But too many of our youngest learners still don’t have access to high quality early childhood education. They are missing out on opportunities that will help them thrive, and this hurts all of us.