State Capitol, Olympia
This event is free and lunch is provided.
It’s the worst we’ve seen.
That’s our assessment of new cuts to state services. The across-the-board budget reductions are more severe than anything we’ve experienced recently. They’re also being made in an extremely challenging context.
The budget that was finalized this spring, during the last legislative session, did not anticipate the persistently slow economy. And, rather than our elected representatives deliberating in public over cuts, these decisions are being made by the Governor in consultation with agency secretaries and assistant secretaries. They are decisions as momentous as any made during the last legislative session, only without legislators convening to hear and represent their constituents’ concerns.
The federal government has finally released the guidelines states need to apply for their slice of $1.5 billion in new grant funding for home visiting programs, which connect new and expectant parents with trained nursing and early learning professionals.
The new guidelines issued late last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will allow Washington to apply for up to $1.3 million this year.
The first wave of these grants, part of federal health care reform that became law in March, will go to states this summer.
Over the next few weeks and months, we and our allies on the Washington Home Visiting Coalition will be working with state agencies and stakeholders on a plan for how Washington will use these home visiting funds.
The Dental Access Bill, Senate Bill 5465, had a public hearing in the Senate Health Care Committee on Monday, January 25, with members of the Washington Dental Access Campaign (WDAC)—representing the interests of children, elders, rural constituents, dental professionals and advocates for low-income people and communities of color—signing in PRO. Here are a few highlights from the testimony:
Dr. Kevin Nakagaki, DDS, has worked with dental therapists since they were first licensed to practice in Minnesota in 2011.
“Patients are very accepting of the Dental Therapist, as they are very familiar with the medical model of physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
“In my clinic, after hiring dental therapists, access for my population has increased, and the wait time to be seen has decreased by half. As I have shifted the straightforward dental restorations to the dental therapist, it has freed up my time to concentrate on more complex procedures.
“The dental therapists are very well trained to manage the pediatric population, and the patients (and parents) have been very satisfied-extremely satisfied with their care.
“As the dentists have had the opportunity to work with the therapists, they have found the concept safe, workable, desirable, and have begun requesting new hires for their offices.”
—Dr. Kevin Nakagaki, DDS, Minneapolis
Lawmakers took a big step forward for kids last year with the passage and funding of the Early Start Act. This year, we can’t afford to let them take a big step backward.
Legislators are opening the first week of the 2016 session with a close look at Governor Inslee’s proposed supplemental budget. Here’s one item that kids, working parents and employers need them to pay attention to.
In doing so, the Swinomish are taking the lead in providing preventive and routine care that’s been blocked for too many years.
The Children’s Alliance enthusiastically supports this action by the Swinomish to improve oral health. As the Tribe has noted, its dental professionals see twice as many patients as average oral health care providers. Hiring a dental therapist is an affordable way to meet the clinic’s demand for routine, preventive care.
End Childhood Hunger
Here in Washington, one in five children lives in a household that doesn’t have enough to eat. Childhood food insecurity disproportionately impacts children of color, and it undermines a child’s educational progress. Fight childhood hunger, including strategies to increase family economic security such as restoring Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Invest in Early Learning
The voting public solidly backs babies, toddlers and preschool-age children.
“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.
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.
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.
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.