Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

No Kidding! The Children's Alliance blog

Supporting Quality Early Learning

Adam 06/29/13

toddler
Washington’s children are worth investing in. And one of the biggest payoffs for all of us comes when we invest in their first five years – when early learning helps kids create a brighter tomorrow. 

There’s promising news for children ages birth to 5, and therefore for our shared future. New state-by-state data shows that the President’s Preschool for All proposal would benefit 7,451 Washington children from low- and moderate-income families in the first year alone.

Quality pre-K helps kids build success in K-12 and saves money down the line. Brains are like buildings: they start with a foundation. Birth to age 5 is a crucial time to give kids the kinds of enriching environments that help them make smart choices, express their feelings, control their impulses and learn the other behaviors that put them on a solid footing for the rest of their lives.

Brewster C. Denny (1924-2013)

Adam 06/26/13
Brewster Denny


As we mourn the loss of Brewster C. Denny (1924-2013) and share our condolences with his family, we pause to remember the many contributions that he made to children and families in Washington and to the mission of the Children’s Alliance.

Brewster was a champion and an inspiration for the Children's Alliance. His passionate belief in the power of effective public policy to improve the lives of children is now embedded into the core of the Children’s Alliance.

Throughout the 1990s, Brewster served as the founding co-chair of the Children's Budget Coalition, an enterprise to create a unified children's budget that was endorsed and promoted to policymakers by dozens of child advocacy and child-serving organizations. As staff to the Coalition, we had the privilege of supporting his great leadership and learning from his ability to foster collaboration. In recognition of his service, the Children’s Alliance presented Brewster with an Outstanding Advocate for Children Award in 1997.

What makes a good budget for Washington kids?

Adam 04/16/13

 

A week after the state Senate, the state House of Representatives passed its budget on Friday, April 5. Negotiations between budget leaders in the House, the Senate and the Governor’s office have begun.

What are the key ingredients of a good state budget for kids?

A missed opportunity to adopt a smart solution

Adam 03/13/13


The state legislature has missed an opportunity to get more kids and families the preventive oral health care they need.

The dental access legislation, House Bill 1516 and Senate Bill 5433 did not move forward out of their policy committees, despite a large and diverse statewide coalition of health care advocates and the leadership of Rep. Eileen Cody (D-34th) and Sen. David Frockt (D-46th). The Washington State Dental Association is ignoring the input of its own member dentists and is blocking an innovative and evidence-based solution to our state’s dental access crisis.

A licensed dental practitioner remains a viable part of the solution – for the oral health of Washington’s underserved communities and as a workforce opportunity for dedicated dental professionals.

Dental practitioners are already serving tens of thousands of patients in other states. Watch this short video to learn more:

Early investments pay the biggest dividends

Adam 03/13/13

toddler
State lawmakers are talking a lot about how to fulfill our Constitutional promise of educational opportunity to Washington’s children. Many of them recognize that we get the greatest return on our educational investment when we fill classrooms with children who are ready to learn.

Brains are like buildings; they rest on the foundation laid down by a child’s earliest experiences. That’s why sound nutrition, healthy mothers, stable living situations and primary care are all so essential. And also why early learning is so important.

So it’s been a great achievement for the Children’s Alliance and our friends to push a new bill through its chamber of origin and on to the Senate, where it will be heard in committee this Friday.

Court says no to "tyranny of the minority"

siobhan 03/01/13

 

Have you ever asked your state legislator to support a fair and balanced approach to the budget, including closing tax loopholes or new revenue, only to hear them say, “Sorry, my hands are tied”? Well, yesterday morning the Washington State Supreme Court untied their hands.

In a 6-3 vote, the Court ruled that a supermajority requirement – a two-thirds vote – to raise revenue or close tax loopholes is unconstitutional. This is good news for kids!

The court opinion states that the Supermajority requirement enabled a “tyranny of the minority” – referencing the fact that a minority of legislators  - as few as 17 individuals in the Senate – could block legislation to close tax loopholes or raise revenue. 

No Child Hungry

Adam 02/25/13


Over the past seven days we have been privileged to take part in some prominent events that highlight the needs of hungry children.

Leaders from the faith community, charitable organizations and community groups have joined us in calling on state leaders to fight childhood hunger by restoring State Food Assistance.

Last Tuesday, we released a community letter asking legislators to “restore the integrity of our food security system” by fairly funding the program, which was cut in half last summer. The cut took food off the tables of nearly 14,000 children.

Voices in support of a smart solution

siobhan 02/11/13

Last Tuesday, legislators on the House Health Care & Wellness Committee heard voices from across the state speak to a proven solution to the crisis in dental care:

“Alone, terrified, and in excruciating pain, my brother passed away. He was only 23 years old.” Jaydra Cope, (Spokane), whose brother Dalton died in 2006 due to complications of a dental abscess.

What kids need in order to learn

Adam 01/22/13

This week’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. coincides with the second week of the state legislative session. That’s an apt coincidence.

Because the question legislators are facing – how to make sure that every child has the opportunity of an education – is one that Dr. King would have deemed worthy of considerable thought.

To close the opportunity gap, start early

Adam 01/21/13

Lawmakers began the 2013 legislative session in Olympia last week – a session that will be marked by a lot of dialog about our state’s commitment to educational opportunity for all children. New data should help elected officials see the potential for early learning to maintain our commitment to that opportunity.