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Reflections from the 2022 KY Commission on Race & Access to Opportunity

Read about the November 2021 meeting of the Commission on Race and Opportunity here.  Following the 2021 General Assembly, SB 10, co-sponsored by Senator Givens, Senator Whitney Westerfield, and Senate President Robert Stivers, became law and established the Commission on Race and Access to Opportunity. The group is tasked with studying and researching issues where disparities may exist across various sectors to determine areas of improvement and to provide services and opportunities for communities of [...]

What can Kentucky learn from the Tennessee preschool program?

Dr. Dale Farran and her colleagues from Vanderbilt University recently completed a multi-year study on the effectiveness of Tennessee’s public school preschool program. The study followed children from preschool through middle school to see how preschool affected the children’s long-term learning. Tennessee does not offer universal pre-Kindergarten, but instead they focus their public school preschool program on children considered “at-risk” due to factors like living in poverty. Tennessee used full-day preschool that aligned with the [...]

By |2022-06-14T15:57:08-04:00June 14th, 2022|Blog, Education|

Filling the Summer Meal Gap for Families

Summer should be a stress free time where kids get to relax. However, for nearly 1 in 5 kids across the Commonwealth summer is often the hungriest time of the year. The loss of free school meals and rising grocery costs means that families spend more on groceries in the summer, stretching already tight budgets and leaving kids at risk of missing meals.  To help fill this summer meal gap, there are several programs available to [...]

By |2022-06-09T13:44:01-04:00June 9th, 2022|Blog, Economic Security, Education, Health|

OP-ED: Let’s create more caring communities when it comes to mental health

This post originally appeared as an op-ed in the Messenger-Inquirer on May 25, 2022. By Barry Allen and the Bloom Kentucky Advisory Council “What’s wrong with you?” If you have struggled emotionally in public or amongst family or friends, you may have been asked this question. Maybe you’ve snapped at your child after losing your patience in the cereal aisle of the grocery store and a stranger gives you that questioning look. Or perhaps you’ve asked this [...]

Understanding the Child Care Staffing Crisis

The child care industry has suffered huge financial obstacles during the past two years. The Center for Disease Control asked child care programs to increase their health and safety requirements in a way that required additional staff to serve the same amount of children. COVID-19 outbreaks caused programs to shutdown classrooms, or even the entire program, for weeks at a time causing significant losses in revenue. Despite all these financial obstacles, they are still secondary [...]

By |2022-05-20T11:45:39-04:00May 20th, 2022|Blog, Economic Security, Education|

Bloom Kentucky Called Upon Legislators to Address ACEs – Did They Answer?

As we reflect on the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly, this year’s legislative session was certainly a mixed bag. From debates on local control vs. big government to the infiltration of national lobbying groups, it seems as though we might have been left with more questions than answers. The good news, however, is that Kentucky’s policymakers found common ground when it came to Kentucky kids and families and the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). We [...]

By |2022-05-12T12:32:23-04:00May 12th, 2022|Blog, Bloom Kentucky, Economic Security, Education, Health, Justice|

Update: P-EBT for 2021-22 School Year

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) has been one of the most vital supports for children and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing grocery money to families who would have usually received free and reduced school meals. We are excited to share that Kentucky has received final federal approval for P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 school year. This round of benefits will be administered differently than previous rounds, so please read the following information carefully. Kentucky Youth Advocates [...]

By |2022-06-02T15:48:26-04:00May 3rd, 2022|Blog, Economic Security, Education|

Child Care Assistance Program FAQ for Kentucky Families

Child care is essential for Kentucky families to thrive. With annual costs reaching up to $11,000, however, families across Kentucky are struggling to pay for child care. The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps eligible families pay for child care, providing vital support to families with young children. Despite how vital the program is, very few eligible families are participating in the program and applying for and participating in the program can be confusing. With [...]

By |2022-04-28T09:03:27-04:00April 27th, 2022|Blog, Economic Security, Education|

OP-ED: Lots of Questions for the 2022 KY General Assembly

This post originally appeared as an op-ed in the Courier Journal on April 21, 2022. By Dr. Terry Brooks In a press conference before the historic launch of Apollo 11 to the moon, Neil Armstrong was asked about the answers he hoped to discover with his moonwalk. He responded by asserting that he will likely have more questions to ask than answers. That is how I feel as we leave the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly – I have a whole bunch of [...]

Wins & Missed Opportunities for Kids in the 2022 General Assembly

The final gavel has fallen for the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly! This year, the Governor and the Kentucky General Assembly were tasked with crafting a two-year state budget, tackle redistricting, advance policies to address the COVID-19 pandemic, tax reform, and other policy priorities that would be good for the communities they represent and the Commonwealth. If we take a second to reflect, that’s a heavy lift in a long 60-day session. There was good news [...]

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