A final budget for Washington state contains some protections for kids, the Children’s Alliance responds to a new report showing that dental therapists and other licensed dental practitioners give safe and competent care worldwide, and a new national study suggests that Washington’s early learning dollars need to stretch farther to make preschool more accessible. National news highlights food stamps as an effective program that mitigates poverty.
… [T]he social safety net—the Disability Lifeline, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the State Food Assistance Program, the Alcohol Drug Addiction and Treatment Support Act, and family planning services … were restored by the Democrats in the compromise; and … in return, the Republicans got three reform bills.
A new report on dental therapists says the midlevel practitioners offer safe and competent care worldwide, primarily to children in locations with rare access to dentists. … A proposal similar to the one in Alaska, where therapists also treat adults, has been introduced in the Washington state Legislature, according to Jon Gould, deputy director of the Seattle-based Children's Alliance. The nonprofit advocacy organization received a three-year grant totaling $450,000 from the Kellogg Foundation. The legislation passed the Senate Health Care Committee earlier this year and is expected to be taken up again next year, Gould said.
Washington preschool programs that receive government dollars are among the best in the country but too few kids benefit from the $54 million the state spends on preschool each school year, according to a report released Tuesday. Washington is one of the most generous states as far as per-child spending on early learning, but near the bottom in terms of access to preschool, according to the State Preschool Yearbook from the National Institute for Early Education Research.
So far, so little. It has not been a great year for children’s issues as part of Presidential debate dialogue. Questions from moderators have virtually ignored anything that reflects the critical needs of children, such as health care, education and child poverty, according to recent analyses by Voices for America’s Children, in partnership with the Child and Family Policy Center.
Poverty and Obesity: Breaking The Link | The Huffington Post | 04-11-2012
A significant body of scientific evidence links poverty with higher rates of obesity. Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive study conducted thus far to document the nutritional status of the U.S. population, has found that low-income children and adolescents are more likely to be obese than their higher income counterparts. Additionally, reports have shown a higher prevalence of obesity among low-income adults.
These measures show that during 2000-09, SNAP benefits reduced the depth of poverty by an average of 10.3 percent, and the severity by an average of 13.2 percent. The progressive nature of SNAP—where families with lower incomes receive larger benefits than similarly-sized families with higher incomes—explains its greater impact on depth and severity than on the simple poverty rate. SNAP was even more effective in lessening poverty among children—a group that experiences significantly higher rates of poverty than the overall population.
Dental Insurance, but no dentists | The New York Times | 04-09-2012
We have two years to prepare before millions of children will be entitled to access to dental care, and Alaska shows us the way forward. Access means more than having an insurance card; it means having professionals available to provide care. Public officials should foster the creation of these midlevel providers — and dentists should embrace the opportunity to broaden the profession so they can expand services to those in need.