Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education. Last year, I asked this Congress to help states make high-quality pre-K available to every 4-year-old. And as a parent as well as a president, I repeat that request tonight.
A year ago, President Obama released the outlines of a bold new initiative to put quality pre-kindergarten within reach of every child in America. On Tuesday night, the President reiterated his request, emphasizing the promise of early learning.
We look forward to the celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, 50 years after the start of the War on Poverty that he helped to launch. One key strategy in the War on Poverty has been a commitment to the health and well-being of America’s children, through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).
This session, Children’s Alliance members are asking state legislators to fulfill a key part of the American promise – basic help in hard times – by bringing State Food Assistance up to parity with federal SNAP benefits.
Our elected representatives returned to Olympia this week, and in the midst of a fragile economic recovery, many of them are asking an important question: How do we manage the state’s finite resources in ways that build strong families and healthy communities?
There’s growing momentum for one good answer: a mid-level dental practitioner trained to provide routine, cost-effective oral health care where it’s most urgently needed.
Apple Health for Kids, Washington’s health coverage program for children, won $7.84 million from the federal government last Monday, December 30.
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awarded the money, a performance bonus, to Washington, for connecting more children to health care. Our state was among 23 states nationwide to earn bonuses for getting more children enrolled in health coverage.
The Children's Alliance 2014 legislative agenda was finalized this week. When the 2014 State Legislature convenes in Olympia in the second week of January, we'll be calling on legislators to:
Washington state has taken smart steps to solve childhood hunger. When Congress eliminated food assistance for immigrant families, state lawmakers created the Food Assistance Program, which has helped connect tens of thousands of children with the food they need to thrive. Nearly 20 years after it was created, Washington lawmakers still support food assistance.
Last Friday, more than 1.1 million of our fellow Washingtonians saw their food assistance benefits cut, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) expired.
The evidence continues to grow showing that the educational opportunity gap begins early – as young as 18 months.
Fortunately, parents, early childhood educators, and public officials know how to close that gap. That’s why they’re calling for increased investments in preschool, quality child care, voluntary home visiting and other programs that support the healthy development of young children.
NOTE to OUR READERS: Last week, federal lawmakers reached an agreement that not only reopened the government – but granted Congress time to undo the harm of the sequester and then make the budget decisions that put our nation’s kids and families on a solid footing. Washington’s own Sen. Patty Murray will co-chair a House-Senate conference committee looking at long-term budget solutions – including, potentially, a state-federal early-learning initiative that could help bridge the educational opportunity gap. We at Children’s Alliance are looking forward to a productive conversation about this national initiative – a conversation similar to that happening within the State of Washington and the City of Seattle.