“Researchers say those early years lay building blocks that become the foundation for a child’s chances of success throughout life. And how that child fares, they say, affects the community as a whole.” – Robert Higgs in First 2000 days.
On Nov 3, 2015, King County residents elected in favor of KC Prop 1 – Best Starts for Kids – an exciting initiative that has the potential to drive long term success for the whole community.
In recent years, several researchers and studies have been stressing the importance of the first 5 years of life and its significance to a child’s development and long term outcomes. Best Start for Kids is an initiative that will improve the health and well-being of King County by recognizing this crucial time, and investing in prevention and early intervention for children, youth and their families.
The inspiration for Best Starts for Kids came from neuroscience research happening in the region’s premier research institute – the University of Washington. UW’s I-LABS is a pioneer in studying children’s minds and understanding how the brain develops.
King County Prop 1 applies the findings of such cutting-edge research for the benefit of the community. KC Prop 1 involves a property tax levy that will raise about $65 million per year. The cost to the average homeowner would be about $1 per week.
50 percent of the levy funds will be invested in readying preschool age children for Kindergarten. In addition, a portion of the revenue will be set aside for investing “in strategies to create safe and healthy communities, such as increasing access to healthy, affordable food and expanding economic opportunities and access to affordable housing.” (Best Start for Kids)
Zeno is excited about the positive change that Best Starts for Kids is set to make in the community, especially the difference it will make in early learning. With a comprehensive approach, starting from prenatal support continuing to early childhood and beyond, this investment in our community will ensure evidence-based prevention and early intervention reach families in need.
“Research has shown that this is a critical age for children’s cognitive development; their education at this point lays the foundation for their future academic performance and beyond.” – Alexandra Ossola in Turning 3 year olds into scientists.