Washington’s children need you

Children, especially those in low-income communities, face many challenges. BestStart Washington – along with our partners and donors – steps in to break down those barriers so that children grow up to be healthy, productive members of our society.

While a majority of Washington children grow up in homes with parents who can care well for their physical, emotional and academic needs, a significant percentage face enormous challenges. Often, family poverty, cultural issues and lack of education present barriers that prevent children and their families from being able to access important health, nutrition, education and social services. Among the alarming facts about Washington children:

  • One in five children are hungry or at risk of being hungry.[1]
  • Nearly one-third of young children – 31 percent – do not receive the recommended childhood immunizations. That’s well above the national average of 23 percent.[2]
  • More than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.[3]
  • One in four children enters kindergarten without the social and emotional skills they need to be successful in school.[4]
  • Less than one-half of children with a diagnosable mental disorder receive the mental health services they need.[5]

Learn more about how you can get involved with BestStart Washington and work to address these issues and more by contacting us today.

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[1] USDA. Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., Andrews, M., & Carlson, S. Household Food Security in the United States, 2011

[2] Plain Talk About Childhood Immunization, Washington State Department of Health, 2009

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Childhood Obesity Facts, 2013

[4] Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills, Thrive by Five, Washington Department of Early Learning, Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2012

[5] Facts About Mental Illness, National Alliance of Mental Illness, 2013