As a parent and a Save the Children Action Network volunteer, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to find high-quality early learning programs in King County.
Early childhood education is essential for the healthy development of young children and critical for parents to maintain stable employment. Unfortunately, we are facing a substantial lack of accessible early learning programs in King County, and it is harming our children and limiting our economic growth.
Due to the high demand and lack of access, the average cost of child care and preschool in King County is higher than the annual cost of in-state tuition at the University of Washington. Without accessible, programs, parents are left to find unregulated care, which can be dangerous for children. Otherwise, they are forced to leave the workforce, which reduces parents’ earning today and throughout their careers.
Thankfully, the King County Council has an opportunity to take action. They are now deciding how to allocate a one-time education fund as part of the Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account (PSTAA), a special provision included in Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. I encourage the council to help alleviate this crisis by making early learning facilities a top priority.
– Leah Bowen