On Tuesday, lawmakers in the state House heard testimony on a bill that could transform childcare and early learning in Washington. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.
The Fair Start for Kids Act is a complicated bill, 52 pages that culminate years of work by Representative Tana Senn and dozens of collaborators. If it passes, it promises to ease the childcare crunch, improve early childhood development programs around the state, and improve the lot of early learning professionals . . . not to mention parents of young children. Senn, a Democrat from Mercer Island who chairs the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee, is enthusiastic about the bill.
SENN: “Too many families have to turn down promotions or leave work because they can’t find or afford childcare. And this hurts our economy. Businesses in Washington lose two billion dollars a year and our economy is hurt to about six and a half billion dollars a year because of the lack of access to childcare. We need to make sure that our kids, our families, and our economy are growing strong, and that’s why we need to invest in early learning and childcare.”
A committee vote comes next, and the bill could come to the House floor in the next several days. Reporting from Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.