- Our IMPACT (Inclusion Mentorship Program for increasing Access in Childcare Team) program, which has brought inclusive early learning to 21,000 children since its launch in 2018, was created and funded thanks to a grant from BSK.
- Northwest Center’s Early Supports program, which provides therapy and services to children with delays in the critical time from birth to age 3, is also supported in part by a BSK grant.
IMPACT provides consultation and professional development trainings to spread NWC’s mission and vision of inclusion to all of King County, with the ultimate goal of changing the landscape of early learning and childcare across the county to fully support children of all abilities.
Our Early Supports team, thanks to BSK funding, was able to meet our families’ needs throughout the pandemic by pivoting to a telehealth model and delivering needed resources directly to families. Funding from BSK also helped Early Supports launch equity initiatives including language access and racial equity projects to make materials and services accessible to more families.
Northwest Center is far from the only organization that can provide services thanks to Best Starts for Kids. Since King County voters passed the BSK levy in 2015, more than $368 million has been distributed to hundreds of other programs. These include:
- The creation of School-Based Health Centers where students can receive free annual check-ups, vaccinations, and mental health counseling.
- The Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention initiative, community programs that in In 2017 alone were able to prevent more than 3,000 people from experiencing homelessness.
From 2018-2020, more than 500,000 children, youth, and families have benefited from all of the programs funded by BSK.
The Best Starts for Kids levy is a community-driven initiative with a science- and research-informed framework. Funded through a property tax, BSK was designed to help children realize their potential to be happy, healthy, safe, and thriving. The levy “Invests Early” by funding programs to support pregnant parents and children prenatal through five years old, and then “Sustains the Gain” through grants that support children, youth and young adults ages 5 through 24.
Funding for BSK is set to expire on December 31, 2021—unless it is renewed by King County voters on the August 3 ballot. The rate of the proposed levy renewal is 19 cents per $1,000 assessed home value. While this is an increase over the existing rate, it will cost just $114 per year for the owner of a median-priced home in King County, according to the Seattle Times. And by renewing the levy, we can expect to generate approximately $811 million in additional funding over the next six years to continue to invest in children and families throughout King County.
To vote in the upcoming election, please use this link to register to vote or make sure you are registered: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/how-to-vote/register-to-vote.aspx
Thank you for your support!