The newly released Kids Count Databook on child-wellbeing shows that economic hardship has pulled 65,000 of Washington’s kids into poverty since the beginning of the recession. While on-time graduation rates and test scores dropped during this time, children’s health coverage improved remarkably. In national news, a long waiting list for child care demands that we invest in our children instead of giving tax breaks to the richest 2 percent. One education analyst asserts that meeting the needs of children means a sharper focus on racial equity in child policymaking and practices.
Over the next two months, 19 state legislators across Washington will receive Crayon Awards in recognition of their outstanding work in helping more children access early learning opportunities. The work these legislators did over the past two years has made a real difference in the lives of young children.
In Washington state, deep food stamp cuts leave one Marshallese family in Spokane with a daily food budget of $1.20 per person, per meal. A new report finds that federal spending for children’s programs has declined for the first time in three decades, the labor movement supports same-sex marriage to support strong families, and an initiative to lock a two-thirds majority vote in the State Legislature will leave kids in the dust. In national news, a former U.S. surgeon general says the oral health crisis calls for a new licensed dental practitioner to expand the reach of quality care.
Many Children’s Alliance members know what the Affordable Care Act means for their families. Most regard the new law as a welcome change.
That’s what we’ve heard from the 68 people who answered our recent survey asking families to share “how you believe you are, or may be, affected by the Affordable Care Act."
One million people in Washington use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to feed their families. Two out of every 3 households receiving assistance includes a child. Washington’s children are at great risk of hunger – an experience no child should go through.