More than half of children entering kindergarten classrooms across Washington have not had the opportunities they need to be ready for school. We know that for low-income children and children of color, this is more likely to be true. But quality early learning can help close the opportunity gap. Read a policy paper by the Early Learning Action Alliance.
2012 Legislative Session
Hard times have hurt Washington’s children. Four out of 10 kids live in families that can’t afford the basics. Hunger has nearly doubled since the onset of the recession. Tens of thousands of additional children have been pushed into poverty. These hardships
disproportionately affect children of color.
When legislators gathered in Olympia from late November of 2011 to April 2012, we were there, too.
On February 29th, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the injunction prohibiting the Department of Social and Health Services from eliminating or cutting benefits provided under the State Food Assistance Program (SFA). Legal protection for more than 31,000 people, including 12,500 children, living in households receiving SFA no longer exists.
The Children’s Alliance is committed to a Washington State where all children can reach their potential. We believe every child deserves a loving family, equal opportunities to learn and thrive, and a social support system that helps keep them safe and healthy, no matter who their parents are.
Read more here.
Two bills will establish a voluntary early learning program for 3- and 4-year-olds in Washington, with a concurrent focus on services in the first three years of life.
Despite an epic snowstorm, consumers, practicing dentists, and representatives of community-based groups and tribal organizations testified about the multiple benefits of creating an innovative new licensed dental practitioner in Washington.
Read the experiences of three Washingtonians who are speaking up to improve access to dental care.
“It’s about what the people need. It’s hard to get dental care, and this new provider could fill the gap and reach more people who need preventative care so they don’t face the kind of problems I am facing.” - Kim Rice, Vancouver
House Bill 2448 would establish a voluntary early learning program for three- and four-year-olds in Washington, with additional support for children from birth to age three. Read a two-page fact sheet about the bill by the Early Learning Action Alliance.
Four out of 10 children in our state use Apple Health for Kids to see a doctor, dentist or other medical professional. Click here to see how many children are enrolled in Apple Health for Kids in each of Washington’s 39 counties.
Every child needs access to good nutrition in order to learn, grow and thrive. But the number of hungry Washington households has nearly doubled since 2007. State Food Assistance ensures equal treatment of our state's hungry;eliminating SFA would further disrupt the lives of thousands of children – disproportionately children of color – all across the state.
Learn more about State Food Assistance.
Apple Health for Kids gives thousands of Washington children the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Read how Apple Health for Kids helps Washington's children grow up healthy.
Our 2012 legislative agenda calls on lawmakers to:
- Protect Apple Health for Kids and State Food Assistance;
- Reject further budget cuts that hurt low-income families and children of color;
- Improve health with a licensed dental practitioner;
- Close the opportunity gap with early learning;
- Raise revenue to protect our future.
Download and print our 2012 legislative agenda.