High-quality early learning can be a standard across the state with continued support, thanks to Washington’s Early Achievers rating system. The Health Care Authority’s planned partnership with community service providers means Apple Health for Kids can cover more uninsured children. In Walla Walla last week, Children’s Alliance presented Rep. Maureen Walsh with a Crayon Award for her commitment to early learning. Recently, we also named Rep. Luis Moscoso a legislative Champion for Children along with 11 other state lawmakers for their work to protect kids. In national news, advocates declare "No Child is Illegal," and celebrate a new law that allows young immigrants temporary protection from deportation.
I fully expect Early Achievers to spark a statewide conversation about and demand for high-quality child care. Thanks to years of national research, planning and testing, we know what makes for a high-quality early learning experience: well-trained and well-supported staff; meaningful family engagement; sound business practices; and an environment filled with opportunities for children to use their growing bodies and minds, learn how to navigate their world and interact with others. Now that we know what it takes, Early Achievers is our opportunity to make it happen for our children.
The Health Care Authority is seeking a partner organization interested in education and outreach opportunities for Apple Health for Kids – an umbrella children’s health insurance program that is available at low cost or free for low-income families. State lawmakers appropriated funding for promotion of the Apple Health for Kids coverage, but the appropriation did not include administrative funding. So, the agency settled on the partner organization option as the best approach. Under it, HCA will select an organization with a social service background and support for children’s programs, then reimburse up to $1 million for its services.
Walla Walla Representative Maureen Walsh will be recognized Friday with the Silver Crayon Award for her contribution in helping more children access early learning opportunities. The award comes from the Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition and the statewide Early Learning Action Alliance. 18 other state legislators will be honored for protecting state investments in programs, to advocating for policy changes that increase the continuity of care for children.
Children's Alliance honors Rep. Moscoso | The Bothell Reporter | 08-21-2012
State Rep. Luis Moscoso, who represents Bothell in the First Legislative District, has been named one of Children's Alliance's 12 Champions for Children for his work for kids during the 2012 legislative session. Moscoso helped protect health care and food assistance for children and their families.
"There is a great opportunity for all makes and models of patients, providers, and policymakers to play a role in improving oral health," Dr. Krol said. Yet gaps in the system are persistent and formidable. An estimated 100 million Americans currently lack insurance coverage for dental care, a problem that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) only partially addresses, program organizers observed. While the healthcare reform act ensures dental benefits for children as part of an "essential health benefits," adults are not guaranteed the same oral healthcare benefits.
A new report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) takes a comprehensive look at the detrimental impact of federal and state immigration enforcement policies on children and families. The report, written by Joanna Dreby of the State University of New York, lifts up the voices of children themselves—those whose families have been torn apart and those that live in fear of that threat every day. In addition to highlighting the economic and emotional impacts, Dreby also identifies emerging trends such as children entering the child welfare system due to immigration enforcement measures as well as the increase in “sudden single motherhood” among immigrant families due to the high rate of fathers being deported. Yet perhaps one of the report’s most troubling findings is that many of the children interviewed understood the term “immigrant” to be something negative and equivalent to “illegal.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., on Tuesday described the start of the application process for undocumented youth in the country seeking temporary relief from deportation as a “very important day in our nation’s history.” … On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security will begin accepting applications for deferred action. The initiative provides temporary relief from enforcement but does not provide lawful immigration status or a path to a green card or citizenship. … California alone, more than 400,000 people are potentially eligible for the initiative, which allows certain undocumented youth to apply for a two-year reprieve from deportation. During that time they would be allowed to apply for college and a work permit. “They love their country,” Boxer said of those undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, many knowing no other home. “They want to serve their country... many of them are leaders in their communities and their schools,” she stressed.
Writing off Poor Children | The New York Times (Economix Blog) | 08-20-2012
A new book edited by Greg J. Duncan and Richard Murnane, “Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools and Children’s Life Chances,” offers clear evidence that programs that increase income for families living in or close to poverty, like the earned-income tax credit, have positive effects on educational performance, as do programs that reduce economic segregation. In other words, human capital isn’t produced in schools alone.
What can be done to stop the pervasive lack of preventative and routine oral health care? After the screening, a panel of experts discussed solutions. One opportunity, highlighted in the video, is using dental therapists to fill gaps in dental care. Dental therapists are required to have much of the same level of training as dentists to perform simple dental procedures.
When children head back to the school lunch line in a few days they can expect to hear, "Would you like broccoli or a pear with that?" That is because schools across the country will be revamping school meals to be more nutritious in an effort to combat childhood obesity. … The school meal standards were announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January and this is first major overhaul in fifteen years.