Speak Up for Washington's Youngest!
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Thank you for being a member of the Children's Alliance! Together, we center children, families, and communities in policy making in Washington State. We are committed to improving outcomes for all kids, with a focus on improving outcomes for the kids most impacted by systemic racism and poverty.

Today's newsletter focuses on our work improving access to high quality early learning in our state.
Our Work and Wins
  • On July 1st, Washington State's Department of Children. Youth, and Families (DCYF) increased Working Connections Child Care subsidy reimbursement rates. This increase is a small step forward to help families, support healthy kids, and support gender and racial equity. While we applaud this step forward, we know we still have a long way to go to continue to increase access to high quality early learning for families across Washington. This increase resulted from advocacy during the 2019 legislative session and was a priority of Children's Alliance and many partner organizations. Read more about child care subsidy here.
  • As of July 1st, DCYF also assumed responsibility of the Child Care Subsidy Program from the Department of Social and Health Services and established the DCYF Child Care Subsidy Contact Center. This is another step in the implementation of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, a priority we supported in 2017.
Early Learning Advocate and Brewster Denny Award Winner Kelly Blucher speaks at the Seattle Town Hall Screening of No Small Matter

Last week, Town Hall Seattle and Child Care Aware of Washington hosted a screening screening and panel discussion of No Small Matter, a feature-length documentary film and national engagement campaign illustrating the cost barriers that are making quality childcare inaccessible to millions of families across America.

2019 Brewster Denny Award winner Kelly Blucher was part of a five person panel that followed the screening, joined by former State Rep. Ruth Kagi, Lois Martin from Community Day Care for Children, Inc, State Senator Claire Wilson (30th LD), and Amy K. Anderson from Association of Washington Businesses.Check out this video from the Early Learning Action Alliance on Facebook to hear Kelly speak on how affordability and access to child care has impacted her career and her ability to continue working.
KIDS COUNT in Washington 2019

Recently, our partners at the national level, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2019 Kids Count Data Book - the most comprehensive annual report on child well-being in the United States. Read the full report here.

At the local level, we continue our Kids Count in Washington partnership with the Budget & Policy Center, offering policymakers and the public the knowledge they need to remove the barriers kids face to brighter, freer, more equal futures - as pre-K, child care, home visiting and other early services for babies, toddlers and preschool-age children make up just 1 percent of total state spending. Here are some key takeaways from this year's release:
  • The total number of children in Washington state living below the federal poverty line has grown by 36 percent since 1990.
  • The state has made substantial gains in health-insurance coverage for children — decreasing the share of uninsured kids by more than half since 2010. 
  • Nevertheless, 3 percent of kids remain uninsured. And each year, half of all kids covered by Apple Health for Kids are unable to see a dental professional, with a disproportionate number of those children being poor kids and kids of color.
Early Learning In the News
“Children who go to high quality pre-school perform better academically throughout their academic life, have higher earnings later in life, and even as adults have better health outcomes, "Deputy Director Jon Gould gets interviewed by KING 5.

"We are not maximizing opportunities to invest in high-quality learning for children," Early Learning Policy Director Allison Krutsinger in the Spokane Inlander.

The Early Learning Action Alliance, convened by Children's Alliance, will be active all summer and fall building the momentum for legislative success in early learning in 2020 and beyond. For more information, contact April Messenger, or sign up for the ELAA newsletter.

Through the Think Babies™ campaign, Children's Alliance is dedicated to advocating for policies and programs that work for Washington infants and toddlers and their families. Keep an eye out for a save the date for Strolling Thunder 2020, a fun, family-friendly rally to encourage policymakers to Think Babies in support of stronger families, vibrant communities, and prosperity across the country! Check out the highlights from Strolling Thunder 2019 on Facebook, and contact Keshia Porcincula to learn more.

Last, but certainly not least, please welcome our newest staff member, Charlotte Linton! Charlotte is coming onboard as our Communications Specialist with a focus on early learning communications. Say hello via email!

Stay tuned for regular updates on actions YOU can take on behalf of Washington's kids and families. Start by forwarding this email to a friend and ask them to sign up via the button below!


Jon Gould
Deputy Director
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