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Early Learning and KidCare Shortchanged as Children Take Back Seat in $77.1 Billion Budget

| May 9, 2014

Children’s issues were in the spotlight during the 2014 legislative session, frequently contentious and ultimately a very mixed bag. Given the size of the $77.1 billion budget — the largest in state history — many advocates said lawmakers could and should have done more for kids.

State’s Claim of $40 Million “Potential” Fraud in Early Learning Programs Proves Groundless

| October 1, 2013

A December 2011 report by the state Office of the Auditor General projected that parents with children in school-readiness programs could have used as much as $40 million worth of public-assistance benefits for which they weren’t eligible over a three-year period–a claim that proved wildly inaccurate, but needlessly panicked lawmakers.

Wanted: Flagler and Florida Foster Parents

| May 28, 2013

With new legislation reforming Florida foster care, good foster parents will be more in demand than ever. And current foster parents say new ones will have a better experience than the old image of foster care might have led them to expect.

Children’s Week at the Florida Capitol Contrasts With a Dearth of Kids-Friendly Bills

| April 9, 2013

Bottom line: 19.2 percent of adults and 28.4 percent of children are sometimes hungry in Florida, compared to national averages of 16.1 percent for adults and 21.6 percent for children. About 21 percent of Florida children were living below the federal poverty level in 2009.

For Children’s Advocates, Scott’s “Florida Families First” Budget Blurs Reactions

| February 2, 2013

Backers of early childhood education and an expansion of Medicaid were disappointed, educators were guardedly happy about raises, and others applauded more money for prevention services to keep youths out of the juvenile justice system, plus $145,360 for juvenile health and mental health.

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