Photo / Children’s Alliance
Whether protecting children from harmful budget cuts or fighting for racial equity at the state and federal level, Children’s Alliance is an unwavering advocate for public policy that benefits all children.
That’s why this year’s Kindergarten Ready Grant Committee selected them as our next SVP Investee, awarding an initial grant of $30,000 and the intention of a multi-year relationship that includes volunteer and paid consulting services.
Children’s Alliance is a leader in three policy areas that affect the wellbeing of Washington’s 1.6 million children: early learning, children’s health and ending childhood hunger — early learning being their largest program area.
In this trifold approach, collaboration is a core value and practice of their work. A convener of the Early Learning Action Alliance (ELAA), Children’s Alliance supports a broad and diverse coalition of nonprofits, professional associations, businesses and industries. Together, the ELAA adopts an annual shared legislative agenda and carries out strategic, coordinated advocacy. Alongside the ELAA, the Children’s Alliance engages in coordinated efforts to increase transparency and accessibility of the policy-making process for those most impacted. Not stopping at passed legislation, they also work to ensure policy works for kids and families on the ground.
For example, the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) — Washington’s high-quality, comprehensive pre-k program serving low-income students — is currently only available to about 12,000 children per year. Many eligible children in very low income families go unserved due to a lack of slots. The legislature has committed to growing ECEAP but advocacy is needed to make this a reality. Children’s Alliance and its many partners will be working over the next three years to make sure that happens.
This includes securing funding for the new slots and ensuring that ECEAP expansion has strong policies for advancing racial equity – such as providing incentives and support for dual-language programming and implementing strategies to recruit and retain culturally and linguistically diverse providers. Of the 7,400 new slots that will be added, more than 1,400 children live in King County.
“The Children’s Alliance is deeply honored to be selected as an SVP Investee,” says Executive Director Paola Maranan.
“We are eager to embark upon the capacity building opportunities that will grow our work to make sure that public policies and investments — from health care to early learning to fighting hunger and poverty — work for all of Washington’s kids and their families. It’s especially exciting to have SVP as a fellow traveler in the effort to conduct capacity building work through a racial equity and anti-racism lens.”
Visit Children’s Alliance online to learn more about their approach and the range of services they provide. If you are interested in volunteering with them, contact Ben Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.