SCAN Applauds King County Council for Bringing Renewal of Best Starts for Kid Levy to Vote in August

  If approved by voters, the expiring 2015 property tax levy would increase by 35% to pay for early education and care programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Suzanne Arnold, [email protected], (609) 610-4957 (M)

Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2021) – Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) applauds the King County Council for unanimously passing proposed ordinance 2021-0062, giving voters the option of voting ‘yes’ to increase and renew the Best Starts for Kids levy during the August primary. 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.

“I’m incredibly proud of all that Best Start for Kids has accomplished for King County’s children and families since 2015,” said Ryan Murphy, Director of State and Electoral Campaigns for the Western US. “SCAN played a significant role in pushing forward the Best Start for Kids 2015 ballot measure campaign. We’re excited to continue to help educate the community on the importance of investing in a child’s most formative years of life, and get out the vote for this one-of-a-kind child development model.”

If approved by voters in August, this levy would allow Best Starts for Kids to not only continue to fund existing programs, but to also improve access to child care throughout the county by establishing a child care subsidy 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 child care professionals a living wage.

“Before COVID-19, it was estimated that King County could not meet child care needs for a third of eligible children, with children of color disproportionally impacted. Now, the pandemic has only widened this gap,” continued Murphy. “Best Starts for Kids would enact solutions to address King County’s child care crisis, thus allowing parents to get back to work, strengthening the local economy and ensuring kids have the opportunity to get the absolute best start in life.”

SCAN’s committed volunteer advocates on the Seattle Community Action Team, Student Ambassadors at the University of Washington and Redmond High School, as well as our network of over 3,300 online supporters in the county, will work with coalition partners to shed light on the far-reaching benefits of Best Starts for Kids and urge residents to vote ‘yes’ in August.

# # #

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.