Children's Alliance News Feed

Media Release: State Senator Pramila Jayapal honored for expanding high-quality early learning


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Adam Hyla E. Holdorf, Communications Director, Children’s Alliance, 206-326-9964

SEATTLE—State Senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37th) was honored for her commitment to the first five years of a child’s life today with a Crayon Award from the Early Learning Action Alliance.

The award was presented to Sen. Jayapal at a Rainier Valley preschool by representatives of the Early Learning Action Alliance and other advocates for quality early learning. The event was attended by families from throughout greater Seattle.

“Every child should have the right to access quality care,” said Zam Zam Mohamed, co-founder of Voices of Tomorrow, which aids child care providers in the East African immigrant community to meet state-level quality criteria. “Senator Jayapal has always been a strong advocate in early learning because she understands that school readiness is for every child.”

Twenty legislators recognized for efforts for young children


The Early Learning Action Alliance, 59 Washington organizations working together for the success of Washington’s youngest kids, has recognized 20 state Senators and Representatives for their achievements over the past two years.

Together, these legislators accomplished the following: 

  • passage of the historic, bipartisan Early Start Act, enhancing the quality and cultural relevance of early care;
  • fair compensation and critical training for in-home child care workers;

Poverty blocks progress, though Washington’s kids gain overall

 

Household incomes for Washington’s poorest families have yet to recover from the 2008 recession, according to the national 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie. E. Casey Foundation.

 

Washington is ranked 15th among the 50 states (PDF) in the Data Book this year; that’s four places higher than last year, when it was ranked 19th.

 

Since 2008, the number of children growing up without health coverage has improved by 38 percent. That’s good news, as coverage is all but essential for kids to see a health professional or get medicine when they’re sick. Credit is due to the state’s Cover All Kids law, which passed in 2007 and created affordable health coverage called Apple Health for Kids. The Affordable Care Act’s 2014 creation of a flexible market for individual plans has also propelled child coverage in Washington to one of the nation’s highest.

 

Yet the child poverty rate is nearly 30 percent higher than it was in 2008, with an additional 59,000 children growing up below the federal poverty level.

McCleary sanctions should advance, not restrict, educational opportunity

 

The state Supreme Court must not order action that would endanger children’s constitutional rights to educational opportunity.

 

So says an Amici Curiae brief filed by four organizations working together to advocate for kids in the context of the McCleary decision. The organizations are Columbia Legal Services, the Equity in Education Coalition, the Children’s Alliance and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.

 

Almost half of all Washington children—4 in 10—live in a family with inadequate income. And a rising share of the state’s student body are children of color, who tend to face implicit, institutional and structural racial bias that forms imposing barriers to their success. These factors—whether they take the form of financial insecurity, homelessness, foster care placement, poorer access to health care or household hunger—make a child’s educational opportunity fragile.