Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

Media Digest 03-08-2011

Christina 03/07/11

In this edition, ECEAP and Head Start programs prove to be one of the most promising investments for our economy and workforce. In other news, Washington State Budget & Policy Center breaks down what capped child care enrollment and increased co-pays mean for Washington families, and an international columnist illuminates the dramatic decline of U.S. investment in children.

Guest Column: Invest Now in Early Learning for Better Lives and a Better Workforce | Seattle Times | 03-02-2011
…investing in a more educated workforce requires quality early education experiences to lay the foundation for the skills businesses will need… Twenty-five states are reaching fewer than 30 percent of 4-year-old children with publicly funded early education. Head Start, our most important national public pre-kindergarten program for at-risk kids, is so underfunded it serves less than half of all those eligible. And Early Head Start serves less than 5 percent of infants and toddlers from eligible low-income families. Until we significantly increase these numbers, the skills gap will continue to widen, and the future competitiveness of our country will continue to shrink.
Guest Column: Cutting early learning programs not good for our state economy | The Olympian | 03-03-2011
… children who participated in a high-quality early learning program in Michigan were 44 percent more likely to graduate from high school and earned 36 percent more as adults. Children in another high-quality program were 74 percent more likely to hold a skilled job at age 21 than similar children who did not participate in the program. There is no quick fix to the skills gap and our state’s economic recovery. However, if we are serious about strengthening our economic position in the global marketplace, state and federal early learning programs must be continued, improved and grown.
3,000 WA kids would be cut from Head Start under US House plan; 1K teachers would get axed | Seattle Post-Globe via Birth to Thrive (Thrive by Five Washington blog) | 03-04-2011
As part of the plan, the bill would slash Head Start funding by 22 percent, according to data from the Children’s Home Society of Washington, Children’s Alliance, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and Washington State Association of Head Start/ECEAP. In Washington, the cuts would translate into 1,009 Head Start teachers, classroom staff and other staff losing their jobs, the groups report, and 2,989 children losing spots in Head Start and Early Head Start around the state.
Governor preserves child care subsidies but limits access and reduces income support | Washington State Budget & Policy Center (Schmudget blog) | 03-07-2011
While it is commendable that the Governor spared child care support for low-income families, it came at a price. Many families will feel the impact of reduced income assistance and limited access to child care support that allows them to remain in the workforce.
Federal cuts would contribute to state budget shortfall | Washington State Budget & Policy Center (Schmudget blog) | 03-01-2011
While the final outcome remains to be seen, and still needs to be considered by the U.S. Senate, it is estimated that our state stands to lose over $1 billion in federal funds for essential public structures such as health care, job training, education and transportation infrastructure. Any additional federal cuts would be devastating to our state as we work to recover from the Great Recession…Head Start, which provides comprehensive early childhood development services for at-risk children ages zero to five, would immediately be cut $16 million, enough to serve roughly 2,000 children.
House Slashes Budget for Low-Income Kids | NEA Today (National Education Association blog) | 03-01-2011
Almost 200,000 of this nation’s neediest children would lose their slots in Head Start programs, if U.S. Senators opt to approve a draconian federal budget approved by House Republicans last week.
Anti-gang bill still alive in Legislature | Yakima Herald-Republic | 03-04-2011
...groups also testified that any gang crackdown can't be successful without programs to keep kids from choosing the gang life. In an effort to salvage it again, Ross and McKenna have proposed tapping into money from consumer protection settlements with the Attorney General's Office for the prevention programs. The settlements generate about $1 million per year.
Gov. Gregoire Pushing Education Reform | Kitsap Sun | 03-02-2011
The governor has proposed a new cabinet-level education department that will bring together the state's various education departments and committees. Gregoire says the new department would streamline the state's preschool through college education policy and give the governor the leadership role she says Washington citizens expect her to have.
Fareed Zakaria: America’s grim budget outlook | The Washington Post | 03-07-2011
As countries get rich, you might assume that they focus greater attention on their children. Not in the United States. The federal government's expenditures on children have shrunk as a share of the budget over the past 30 years. In 1960, about 20 percent of the federal budget went to programs dedicated to the health, development and education of Americans under the age of 18. Today it's 10 percent and falling.
Bruce Lesley: States in Need of Help?: It’s Time to End the Medicare Drug Clawback | The Hill (Congress Blog) | 03-01-2011
Unfortunately, this model of success for children is being challenged by some governors, who are pushing for repeal of the maintenance of effort (MOE) provision that was included in health reform that requires states to maintain coverage levels within both Medicaid and CHIP through at least 2014. Repealing the MOE would undermine the goal of health reform and the creation of CHIP in the first place, which is to expand coverage and reduce the number of uninsured in our country. In fact, over 14 million children would be put at risk by such a change.