Working with our robust network of member organizations, the Partnership connects, strengthens, and funds child advocates who fight for policies that improve the lives of children from birth to adulthood. Together, we take a whole-child approach, working across multiple issue areas critical to children’s well-being.
Most policy decisions that affect children’s lives are made at the state or local level. States provide two-thirds of the funding for children’s programs and administer many of the federally-funded programs. As local and state experts on effective policies for children, our members contribute data, insight, and recommendations that influence policies and funding federally as well. Bold, inclusive, and robust child advocacy at the state, local, and federal levels is critical to ensuring that every child, from every race, ethnicity, ability, and zip code can thrive.
Our members have made huge positive change for kids in their state legislatures and communities. See a few examples below.
Affordable, Quality Child Care: VOICES for Alabama’s Children championed the successful passage of a first-time, $17.8 million state investment in Alabama’s quality child care programs.
The Children’s Action Alliance was part of a powerful, multi-year statewide campaign that brought in hundreds of millions in increased funding for K-12 public education in Arizona.
Children Now joined the California Work and Family Coalition to ensure the passage of Senate Bill 951, expanding Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance to better support workers who take time off to support their families in California.
As the federal Child Tax Credit spun down, Connecticut Voices for Children worked for the successful passage of a Connecticut Child Tax Rebate in 2022. Families under an income cap can apply for a tax rebate of up to $250 per child (with a maximum of three children). Connecticut Voices for Children also helped pass a one-year increase in the Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit, to support low income families. While both of these policies are time-limited to one year, efforts are underway to make them permanent.
Florida’s Children First, a member of SPARC, achieved another milestone in its endeavor to maximize access to higher education for young people with child welfare involvement. The Florida Legislature extended its tuition and fee exemption to youth who were reunified with their parents after the age of 14. Older youth will no longer have to choose between a college education and returning to their parents.
Voices for Georgia’s Children and partners supported a proposed $1.7 million expansion of a statewide homevisiting pilot program. Home visiting is an evidence-based program that serves low-income pregnant women to promote healthy pregnancies, improve parenting skills, and reduce child abuse & neglect. The existing federally-funded program serves 25 counties - and the proposed expansion would bring home visiting to low-income families statewide.
Hawai’i Children’s Action Network led a powerful coalition effort in 2022 that made the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit permanent and refundable, and increased the minimum wage - making Hawai’i the first state in the nation with an $18/hour minimum wage!
Kansas Action for Children and partners stopped harmful changes to childhood immunization programs. In 2022 Kansas ended the legislative session without any damaging changes to public health practices becoming law - despite many such bills that were filed by the state’s organized anti-vaccination movement.
Thanks to advocacy from the Maine Children’s Alliance, the state of Maine for the first time is using discretionary funding to improve pay for the early care & education workforce. A $12 million investment in the Maine Early Childhood Workforce Salary Supplement Program will add $200/ month to the wages of early educators in the state.
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) secured public funding for Oklahoma’s SNAP nutrition incentive program, Double Up Oklahoma (DUO). A funding increase to the DUO program of $3.2 million per year (over three years) will help low-income families purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Our Children Oregon and partners leveraged over $163 million
in new investments in children during the 2022 legislative
session, and advanced nine successful policy initiatives. Here
are three big highlights:
- Oregon made a historic investment of nearly $100 million into our child care sector that will go towards supporting providers and increasing access to care for families across the state.
- The legislature invested in taking health care directly to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities as a strategy to address racism as a public health crisis.
- Oregonians facing immigration issues will now have access to legal assistance, called universal representation, helping immigrant families stay together.
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and partners are fighting the
tremendous health disparities among people of color with
several health policy measures. In 2022, they won policies that
will ensure robust health coverage for all eligible Rhode Island
- Extending Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum regardless of immigration status; and
- Allowing all eligible low-income children enroll in the state to enroll in the state’s insurance program, RIte Care - regardless of immigration status.
Thanks to persistent advocacy from SPARC member Voices for Vermont’s Children and other foster care advocates, in 2022 Vermont established an office of Child, Youth and Family Advocate. This new independent office will provide oversight and analysis for the child welfare system - joining twenty-seven other US states that have ombudsman or advocate offices for children and families.
After a ten-year effort, in 2022 the Virginia General Assembly approved a state-level refundable Earned Income Tax Credit to enable more than 600,000 families to keep their state tax dollars to meet their basic needs. Voices for Virginia’s Children elevated the stories of parents who would benefit from the new state EITC, and hosted press conferences in collaboration with The Commonwealth Institute, Families Forward, and Virginia Organizing.
Victory in court: the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the state’s new capital gains tax. Overcoming the legal challenge secured an estimated $500 million in recurring funding for affordable child care and early learning in Washington.