WHAT IS BEST STARTS FOR KIDS?
YES on KC Prop. 1, the renewal of the Best Starts for Kids Levy, will allow us to maintain and expand effective programs that put our children and youth on a path toward lifelong success. Investments include Prenatal-5 family support, preventing youth and family homelessness, and community-driven partnerships through Communities of Opportunity that address emotional growth, early engagement with youth, and racial and social equity priorities.
KC Prop. 1 also allows us to build on our success and invest in the critical infrastructure of child care.
The Best Starts for Kids Levy renewal invests in out-of-school time programs for ages 5-12, transitions to adulthood for teens 14-24, and builds up to four school-based health centers across the county. It also creates a new child care subsidy to make child care more affordable for more than 3,000 low-income families and ensures that child care workers, through a Wage Project, earn a living wage for their essential work.
As Ben Danielson, pediatrician with UW Medicine and co-sponsor put it, “What’s beautiful about Best Starts for Kids is that it can show up for a family in so many ways, from birth all the way into adulthood.”
HOW MUCH DOES KC PROP. 1 COST?
For an increase from 14 cents per $1,000 assessed value to 19 cents we can continue to maintain our investments, build on success, and provide essential childcare for families across our county. The cost for the average home owner could be less than $115 per year. You can find out your exact cost using this tool from the King County assessor’s office. Check out the cost for your home here. You may also qualify for a low-income, senior, veteran, or disability property tax exemption.
HOW DO WE KNOW LEVY FUNDS ARE BEING SPENT WISELY?
Over 400 organizations are currently funded by BSK, after going through a competitive and challenging application process. BSK contract managers partner with each organization to collect information on what services are being provided through monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual reports, as well as monthly phone calls and frequent site visits. BSK has also provided technical assistance so that organizations that can build their capacity and achieve their deliverables. That is why the overwhelming majority of BSK organizations are achieving such impressive results.
HOW DO WE KNOW LEVY FUNDS ARE SHOWING AN IMPACT AND CHANGING LIVES?
Best Starts for Kids uses some of our county’s most talented researchers to evaluate impact and measure change. Just in a short period of time, BSK is showing life changing successes, like helping healthier babies meet developmental milestones, be ready for kindergarten, and graduate high school with social and emotional support. BSK also tracks success over 400 different measures, and the results are exceptional. Its evaluation work has been nationally recognized. The most incredible impacts and outcomes will show as our babies and youth grow into healthy, resilient adults.
The question is not whether or not this levy is effective, it’s about how much positive change it is creating and how many ways it is changing lives. That is one reason this levy has received so much attention and support from experts.
WHO SUPPORTS YES ON KC PROP. 1?
A unanimous vote of the nine-member King County Council placed Best Starts for Kids, KC Prop. 1 on the ballot. They join a growing list of child development experts, service providers, childcare workers, and parents across King County have joined in support. Add your name to the list today!Endorse
WHY INVEST IN CHILD CARE?
We know that quality child care is important to help kids develop the skills they need to succeed in school and life. But a lack of affordable childcare across our County has hurt our families and our economy. COVID has made things even harder, with many women reducing employment to take on more childcare responsibilities.
Funding childcare will help families gain stable footing, promote gender equity, improve our economy, and increase opportunities for parents to fully participate in the workforce.
WHAT IS A WAGE PROJECT?
Across our county, childcare providers are some of the lowest wage workers, forcing workers out of King County, increasing turnover and decreasing quality childcare. Women of color make up most of these workers. Funding living wages for childcare workers will improve quality of care for our kids, help close the gender wage gap, and promote a more equitable workforce.