No Kidding: Children's Alliance Blog

Voices for Access to Dental Care

 

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.

Dr. Kevin Nakagaki, DDS“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

Move forward—not backward—for quality early learning

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.

Historic step for Tribes, kids, communities


Today the Swinomish Tribe in Washington state is taking the historic step of hiring an Alaska-trained dental therapist to bring preventive and routine dental care to its members.

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.

Our 2016 Legislative Agenda

Created on: Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 12:47pm

 

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

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.

Progress for Kids: our work in the 2015 legislative session

Created on: Friday, August 28, 2015 - 11:55am


For Washington to thrive, all of our children must thrive. That's why Children's Alliance partners with parents and other community leaders to push for public investments in key areas of child well-being.

This year, by opening the doors of power in Olympia to parents and advocates from across the state, we achieved two historic victories.

Read more

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.