In August 2021, King County residents voted to renew the Best Starts for Kids Initiative. Since 2018, Schools Out Washington has partnered with King County to steward the Out-of-School Time grant, distributing funding to providers across the county and leading them through our Program Quality Improvement process. We are proud of everything this cohort has achieved in these past 4 years, and look forward to seeing the work done by Best Starts grant recipients in the future.
Shared below is a message from Sheila Capestany, King County Strategic Advisor for Children and Youth. For additional information, subscribe to the Best Starts blog.
To our community,
We are proud to share that this week, King County Elections certified the results of the August Primary Election, officially renewing the Best Starts for Kids levy. With over 62% approval, King County voters overwhelmingly chose to renew Best Starts and continue building toward our shared vision for our children, youth, and families. In voting to renew and expand this levy, we have once again shown the depth of our community’s commitment to King County’s kids.
Over the past five years, Best Starts for Kids partners have provided critical support to over half a million babies, children, young people, and families in King County. Together, we’ve laid a strong foundation to support a generation of happy, healthy, safe and thriving babies, children, and young people. Our work together showed us what’s possible when government and community partner in new ways and put equity at the heart of everything that we do.
Thanks to this foundation, we’re ready to hit the ground running and continue the momentum we’ve built together. On July 28, Executive Constantine transmitted the Best Starts for Kids Implementation Plan to the King County Council. This plan outlines proposed investments for the next Best Starts for Kids levy. If adopted by the King County Council, the plan will maintain current investments across our main Best Starts for Kids strategies, and deepen our investments to meet critical needs in our community.
The plan for Best Starts “2.0” will make child care more accessible for low-income children and their families, increase out-of-school time programming for school-age kids, fund up to four new school-based health centers, and expand education and career supports for youth and young adults as they transition to adulthood. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to share updates on the Implementation Plan, future funding opportunities, and ways to get involved. We encourage everyone to subscribe to this blog and our newsletter (scroll to the bottom to subscribe,) and follow @BestStartsKC on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest information on our progress.
We are so proud to live in a community that invests in the positive things we want to see for our kids. On behalf of King County, we want to share our deep gratitude to everyone who has been part of this extraordinary initiative. Your time, expertise, and commitment make Best Starts for Kids what it is.
Thank you for all that you do,
Sheila Ater Capestany