King County voted ‘yes’ to renew and expand the Best Starts for Kids levy to pay for early education and care programs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Suzanne Arnold, [email protected], (609) 610-4957 (M)
Washington, D.C. (August 4, 2021) – Save the Children Action Network applauds King County for voting ‘yes’ to renew and expand the Best Starts for Kids levy. Best Starts for Kids is a comprehensive program that invests in children and families at all stages of life so that they are happy, healthy, safe and thriving. Since its inception in 2015, Best Starts for Kids has funded nearly 600 programs and directly served over half a million children, youth, and families in King County, with 50 percent of the funds going to birth-to-five investments.
Now, Best Starts for Kids can not only continue to fund these existing programs, but also improve access to child care throughout King County by establishing 3,000 new child care subsidies to reduce – or cover entirely – the cost of care for families left out by other municipal and state programs. It would also launch a pilot program to assess the recruitment and retention benefits of paying 1,400 child care professionals a living wage.
“We are thrilled that King County voters came out in support of kids and families, and voted ‘yes’ to renew and expand Best Starts for Kids,” said Ryan Murphy, Director of State and Electoral Campaigns for the Western U.S. “Best Starts for Kids is a one-of-a-kind program that is admirably growing to meet the needs of King County, especially after a year that has brought unprecedented challenges to kids, families and the early education and care industry.”
Save the Children Action Network – the political advocacy arm of Save the Children – was significantly involved in the Best Starts for Kids renewal process, from coordinating constituent testimonies and emails to the King County Council, to facilitating a series of “get out the vote” text banks that engaged over 21,000 swing voters.
“I’m incredibly proud of Save the Children Action Network’s 3,300 grassroots advocates in King County. Without their commitment to bettering the lives of kids, families and early learning professionals, we wouldn’t be celebrating this victory today,” continued Murphy. “This is a proud day, and an exciting achievement for the future of King County’s kids, and the county itself.”
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Save the Children Action Network was created in 2014 as the political advocacy arm of Save the Children, to be the political voice for kids. We work to ensure that the issues critical to children’s lives and futures are given top priority by our elected leaders, building bipartisan support to make sure every child has a strong start in life. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.