In this edition, a dentist says a new type of dental health provider on his team will extend needed care to families in his clinic and throughout Washington. In Olympia, parents and advocates tell legislators why high-quality child care and rating standards are critical to kids' safety and success. In national news, the benefits of quality early learning are seen up to 30 years later, and researchers explain how hunger and obesity are intertwined.
Is A New Type of Provider The Answer to Our Dental Crisis? | KUOW News | 01-26-2012
Only one in four dentists accept Medicaid because of the low reimbursement levels. That means poor families struggle to get good oral health care. Ray Dailey treats patients on the Swinomish Reservation near La Conner. He says his clinic can't meet the needs of all of his patients. Dailey: "It's been referred to as a quiet crisis. It's something that doesn't really make the headlines too often." Dailey hopes a new law could be the answer to the crisis. The proposed legislation would add a mid–level provider to today's dental team. The new therapist would be like a nurse practitioner is to a doctor.
Improving outcomes for foster children | The Seattle Times | 01-25-2012
I have advocated for state and federal funds to provide voluntary home-visiting programs to young families at the greatest risk of child abuse and neglect. Research has shown that one such program, the Nurse Family Partnership, can reduce cases of child abuse and neglect, injury and child mortality. It’s a fiscal, moral and public-safety priority.
House committee hears testimony on rating system for child care centers | League of Education Voters blog | 01-26-2012
Early this morning, parents, activists, and early learning advocates from across the state were in Olympia to testify in favor of HB 2569, also known as QRIS, at the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee. The passage of QRIS is would mean implementing a voluntary quality rating and improvement system for child care centers and early learning programs. Those childcare centers which choose not to participate would not be included in the rating system. The funding would be provided from Washington’s successful application to the Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge.
Senate committee approves same-sex marriage bill | Seattle Times | 01-26-2012
A measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state moved one step closer to passage on Thursday as a Senate committee voted to approve it. The Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee approved the measure with a 4-3 voice vote split on party lines. The bill is expected to head to a floor vote next, though a date has not yet been determined.
Letter: Head Start is helping my son | Kitsap Sun | 01-20-2012
My son has been participating in Head Start services for about a year now and has made tremendous strides in his life due to services we received from Head Start. He was diagnosed with a gross motor and fine motor delay over a year ago, as well as autism just recently. I was told that my son might not walk, or even talk when he was diagnosed. I was so overwhelmed as a mother, not knowing what to do or what services were available. Thanks to a diligent Head Start home visitor and great programs, my son is walking and talking, using more words every day.
Researchers untangling link between hunger and obesity | Minnesota Public Radio | 01-27-2012
Recent research from the University of Minnesota finds parents who struggle to get enough food eat fewer fruits and vegetables and drink more sugar-sweetened beverages than other parents. That is largely due to poor access, said Mary Story, a dietician in the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health. "What we know is that fruits and vegetables cost more, whole grains cost more," Story said. "And many low-income people live in neighborhoods or communities that lack access to a supermarket.".
Health Law Is A Family Affair For CMS’ Tavenner | Kaiser Health News | 01-26-2012
Marilyn Tavenner, the president’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was already hoarse when she began her speech at the Care Innovation Summit in Washington D.C. today. However, that did not stop Tavenner, the agency’s acting administrator, from delivering a laundry list of the 2010 health law’s benefits and achievements, including a particularly personal one. An estimated 2.5 million young adults have gained coverage through the law’s under-26 provision, and “one of those happens to be my daughter,” a type-1 diabetic, Tavenner said. “I have personally benefited from this provision.”
After-School Programs' Newest Activity: Supper | Education Week | 01-24-2012
While breakfast and lunch programs have long been a common part of the school day, all states now have the opportunity to serve students free after-school suppers, too, with the money for the meals coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A few states have offered supper for years as part of a pilot program, but the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which passed late that year, expanded the program, allowing all qualifying after-school programs to take part and get paid by the USDA for the suppers they serve. In 2011, tens of thousands more suppers were served at a time when child poverty is on the rise—although getting programs started can be an undertaking that many child-care centers and after-school sites, especially those located apart from schools, aren't equipped to handle.
Study: Early Education for Poor Students Carries Long-Term Benefits | Early Years - Education Week | 01-23-2012
The study, published in the journal Developmental Psychology by researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, shows that adults who received high-quality child care starting as babies were still reaping benefits even 30 years later.