Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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Massachusetts steps up for Puerto Rico, the White House convenes its first hunger conference in more than 50 years, and hydroponics could be the future of tomatoes in California.

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Arizona's Sen. Kyrsten Simema defends the filibuster, the CBO says student loan forgiveness could cost $400 billion, and whistleblower Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship.

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The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

WA Childcare Advocates Seek Advice from Finland, England

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Monday, March 10, 2008   

Seattle, WA – Juggling preschoolers and paychecks isn't as hard for families in some countries as it is for Americans. So, a group from Washington went to Finland and England recently, to see what they could learn about those countries' cultures and priorities. They found that taxes are high there, but tax dollars are used to cover costs of early learning and college, family leave, and healthcare -- expenses that most Americans pay on their own.

The group also visited childcare centers in England. Bremerton School Superintendent Bette Hyde describes the mind-set about early childhood education in those countries as "half full, versus half empty."

"The analogy is, y'know, our country seems so reactive -- we're so busy locking people up and remediating and fighting wars, where they are raising healthy kids."

The trip convinced State Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) that a commitment to quality preschool programs can head off a lot of problems later in life.

"It's kind-of a 'given' in those countries that your child will participate in this early learning. And in this country, it's kind of a newer concept that there's huge advantage in that early learning."

The group came away with ideas for improving early learning and family-friendly workplace policies for Washington and, since returning last fall, has continued to meet to work on them. The trip was funded with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A report on the "World of Opportunity" tour has just been released; it can be viewed online at www.eoionline.org.




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