Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue (BGCB) has been part of the Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time initiative since 2018, in collaboration with the Bellevue School District, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, and the Bellevue YMCA. The partnership coordinates services primarily for homeless and recently transitioned families. BGCB remained open throughout the pandemic to provide free and low-cost childcare for essential workers. Below is a parent’s perspective of the support they received from BGCB and the Best Starts for Kids initiative.
The Club being open meant I could continue working in essential work helping aid food and housing insecurity. I was even able to get a promotion this June for my hard work, dedication and success before and during this pandemic.
This has positively impacted our family. I worked my way through homelessness, and no employment to working full time helping others in the same situation I was able to work through. This helped address and remove a barrier that most marginalized communities face, affordable childcare. The staff from the club came together and gathered donations and contributed to furniture for our home once we found a place to live when we were experiencing homelessness. This showed my kids that there are people who truly care and that they were invested in their future.
The community should support this initiative because it addresses and removes barriers to childcare which ultimately aids in secured, permanent, safe and stable housing and food.
If my kids weren’t at the Club, some would be home and the others I really don’t know. I may not be able to work.
Receiving free childcare has helped me maintain employment, obtain a promotion and sustain our finances.
Receiving free childcare has increased our likelihood of maintaining housing. We have not been late on our rent and utilities this entire pandemic. Often times, marginalized communities need to pick and choose which things to pay or not to pay. Having free childcare made it a reality to maintain our home, food and reliable transportation. If we lack any of those things including childcare, we’d be one moment away from homelessness.
Best Starts for Kids is up for renewal on the August 3rd ballot—learn more here.