Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

No Kidding! The Children's Alliance blog

Poll: Early learning is top priority

The voting public solidly backs babies, toddlers and preschool-age children.

Quality child care, pre-K and other programs are a necessity, not a luxury, say nearly 9 in 10 voters in a recent nationwide poll. Democrats, Republicans and independent voters all value early education for kids ages birth to five. And solid majorities of voters highly sought after by candidates for office—moderates, millennials, Latinos, non-partisan women—support early learning.

Approve Best Starts for Kids: statement by King County Executive Dow Constantine

Constantine

“I am so pleased the Children’s Alliance has endorsed King County Proposition 1: Best Starts for Kids. The moms, dads, and advocates for kids who make up the Children’s Alliance know what is good for kids and our communities – and know that when we speak up, we can get results. The Children’s Alliance knows that when we invest in opportunity for children in low income families and children of color, we improve our communities for everyone.

“I am delighted that the Children’s Alliance, which usually focuses on state and federal policy, has chosen to put their stamp of approval on an initiative that’s vital to the kids in Martin Luther King Jr. County. Together, we can ensure that all our children have a clear path toward a healthy future full of opportunity. 

Hungry in Washington: Families with children experience greater food insecurity

kid_eating
A Children's Alliance analysis of new government figures shows that hungry families are not experiencing an economic recovery.

According to the most recent report on food insecurity and hunger in America released September 9th by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the national rate of hunger in 2014 did not improve over 2013’s rate of 5.6 percent.

Celebrating Progress for Kids

 

Parents, elected officials, community-based leaders and other advocates for kids gathered in Auburn on Saturday to celebrate a significant victory in the 2015 legislature: the full restoration of food assistance for migrant families. As the photos show, it was a proud moment. 

Children's Alliance food policy director Linda Stone and executive director Paola Maranan at the victory celebration for State Food Assistance on Sept. 12. Staff joined parents, leaders and other advocates to mark the full restoration of nutritional benefits for thousands of Washington kids and families.

Here’s how our executive director, Paola Maranan, greeted the partygoers:

“I am proud and humbled to be here with you today to celebrate a victory that was only made possible by you. Five years ago we came together to organize and advocate to save State Food Assistance. Through those years you—parents, grandparents and youth who courageously spoke the truth about your own experiences; grassroots organizations that stood in solidarity with families; service providers and food banks that spoke up for equity; legislators who advocated among your own colleagues to right this wrong—you have given your hearts, your time and your voice to this campaign.

“At Children’s Alliance we believe in every child’s potential, and we know that good public policies advance equity and help all kids reach that vast potential. State Food Assistance is one of those good policies.

A Promising Strategy to Feed Hungry Kids

 
Kids that go to school hungry don’t perform as well academically, limiting their opportunity to reach their full potential. We know that one in five kids in Washington state live in households that struggle to put food on the table. We also know that the legacy of structural racism in our country means that this reality is even starker for kids of color.
Luckily, for school districts in high-poverty neighborhoods across Washington state, there is a promising solution to address hunger and help reduce the opportunity gap in education: the Community Eligibility provision. School districts have until Monday, Aug. 31 to enroll.

A Historic Victory for Washington's Children

 

Passage of the Early Start Act is great news for parents, children, and all Washingtonians who share in the vision of every child succeeding in school and in life.

With today’s vote, a strong bipartisan majority of the House and Senate have sent the Early Start Act (House Bill 1491) to Governor Inslee’s desk.

We applaud the legislative leaders for early learning in all four caucuses—Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle), Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island), Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) and Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane)—and the many legislators who supported the Early Start Act. They have acted on the years of research showing that high quality early learning builds stronger families, better schools, more self-reliant adults and safer communities. Early learning is a necessary part of any strategy to close the opportunity gap facing too many of Washington’s children in low-income families and children of color.

Click here for photos of advocates and kids celebrating as Gov. Jay Inslee signs the Act.  

Children's Alliance deputy director Jon Gould with early learning leaders Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla, left) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle, right) after the passage of the Early Start Act in the House of Representatives on Sunday, June 28.

Children's Alliance deputy director Jon Gould with early learning leaders Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla, left) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle, right) after the passage of the Early Start Act in the House of Representatives on Sunday, June 28.

 

 

 

Combined with a historic $158 million investment in early learning in the 2015-17 budget, passage of the Early Start Act marks a new level of commitment to early learning in Washington. 

Troublemaker: a label she wears proudly


Immaculate Ferreria-Allah grew up in Sumner, in rural Pierce County, where she’s also raising her three youngest children.

It’s the place where her father, Gregorio, a migrant farmworker, bought a house in 1942. There her father grew food and sold it in Seattle’s International District. And he led the family by example. She remembers him saying to her, one time, “I may be poor, but I am rich in value.”

Progress for kids, but lots more to do

Late last week, the regular legislative session ended, and Governor Jay Inslee called legislators back to work, starting this Wednesday, to accomplish the critical task of writing the next two-year operating budget.

State legislators and engaged Washingtonians have made tremendous progress over the past four months in building the kind of future Washington’s kids deserve. Both chambers of the Legislature passed their respective versions of the Early Start Act, which makes historic investments in the first five years of life.

U.S. Senate applauded for extending kids' health care coverage


From the Children's Alliance news page:

Advocates for children and families in Washington applauded the U.S. Senate for passing a bill yesterday that extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two years.

The vote follows passage of identical legislation in the House. It demonstrates that members of Congress overwhelmingly support the CHIP program and understand it is vital to keeping kids across the country healthy.

“This vote demonstrates the overwhelming popularity of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and for getting kids the health coverage they need to succeed,” said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance.

Washington’s tax system is endangering kids

All children deserve a great start in life. But our state’s tax system puts too many of them in harm’s way. Our tax system is:

Inequitable. Washington’s tax system is the most regressive in the nation: Low-income families pay a much higher proportion of their income than do wealthy families. The racial wealth gap means that children of color are also more likely to live in households that bear a disproportionate share of responsibility for our state’s basic services.

Regressive taxation hurts kids of all racial/ethnic backgrounds, because 4 out of 10 Washington children live in a disproportionately tax-burdened low- or moderate-income home.