FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Brendan Daly, [email protected], (202) 794-1580
(December 13, 2018) – Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) CEO Mark Shriver applauded Washington Governor Jay Inslee for including new early learning investments in the 2019 budget he released today, and reminded legislators that even more resources will be needed to ensure all kids have access to affordable, high-quality early learning.
“I thank Governor Inslee for proposing new investments in early learning in his budget today,” Shriver said. “The new and increased funding for home visiting as well as the new proposal for piloting a version of Washington’s high-quality state preschool, ECEAP, for younger children would give more children the strong start they deserve.”
Gov. Inslee proposed more than doubling the number of children in home visiting programs and cited First Lady Trudi Inslee’s experience joining an Early Steps to School Success home visit in the Olympic Peninsula this September. Early Steps to School Success is the high-quality home visiting program operated by Save the Children.
“While I applaud Governor Inslee for advancing these proposals, we still have a long way to go to ensure that families are supported and Washington’s kids are kindergarten ready. In particular this budget doesn’t include critical investments that are needed in child care,” Shriver said.
“Washington is facing a child care crisis, with 63 percent of residents living in a child care desert. Many areas of the state, particularly rural communities, also lack home visiting services,” he said.
A report released last week by the Center for American Progress showed that Washington was 6th in the nation in terms of child care deserts, defined as census tracks with either 50 children under 5 with no child care providers or census tracks with three times as many children as licensed child care slots.
“I urge the legislature to increase Working Connections Child Care rates—particularly for infants and toddlers—and to support Gov. Inslee’s proposal to expand home visiting funding for rural areas and underserved communities,” Shriver said.
“I also hope the Legislature will support legislation and funding to pilot a pre-K program for younger children (birth to 3). ECEAP, Washington’s preschool program for low-income families, has a strong record of providing quality programs for the kids and families furthest from opportunity. It makes sense to expand programming to serve younger children, because that’s when most brain development happens.”
Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.