No Kidding: Children's Alliance Blog

Kip Tokuda (1947-2013)


Washington’s children have lost a fierce champion and we have lost a beloved friend. We are heartbroken.

As we mourn the sudden loss of Kip Tokuda and share our condolences, we reflect upon the many contributions that he made to children and families in Washington.

Kip was the consummate child advocate. His legacy will live on through the many ways his work and service touch the lives of Washington’s children.

Supporting Quality Early Learning

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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)

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.

White House would expand our state’s early learning success

 

President Barack Obama wants to put real money behind his Plan for Early Education for All Americans. His proposed budget for federal fiscal year 2014 opts for smart new investments in a comprehensive birth-to-5 education plan.

His multi-pronged strategy will expand access to and improve the quality of early childhood education by:

What makes a good budget for Washington kids?

 

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?

Hungry children get support in the State Senate

 

Hungry children gained the unprecedented support of a majority of the State Senate this week. As the News Tribune's Politics blog reported on Tuesday, 25 of 49 Senators co-signed a letter asking budget leaders to fully fund State Food Assistance.

As the Senators wrote:

A missed opportunity to adopt a smart solution


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

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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.

No Child Hungry


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

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.