Washington State House Democrats


Representative Eric Pettigrew gets a Crayon Award for his advocacy on behalf of young children

June 2, 2016

Legislative news from Rep. Eric Pettigrew

Every two years, the Early Learning Action Alliance presents awards to legislators who are leaders and champions for early learning in the legislature. Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle) has been selected by the Early Learning Action Alliance as a Crayon Award recipient for 2016.

The Early Learning Action Alliance is a broad coalition of nonprofits, businesses, and professional associations that are dedicated to making sure that every child in Washington arrives at kindergarten prepared to succeed.

Much of a child’s future is determined by the opportunities and support provided during their first years of life. High-quality early learning is one of the best investments we can make in the future of our state. Research shows that for every $1 invested in early learning, we get $4-$7 back.

“For children of color or kids from low-income families, the chance to attend a high-quality early learning program can set them up for a future full of possibilities,” said Rep. Pettigrew. “Giving kids a good start in their early years is one of the best ways to close the opportunity gap and make sure that every kid has a chance to succeed, regardless of their zip code or the color of their skin.”

Rep. Pettigrew is being recognized for his leadership in the legislature on early learning policies and funding. In the last two years, the legislature has passed the Early Start Act, which will give parents reliable information about the quality of early learning programs; bring high-quality early learning to more childcare centers and preschools around our state; and increase childcare stability and consistency for low-income working families. Additionally, the 2015-2017 budget invests more than $159 million in early learning to improve outcomes for kids – increasing the quality of care and the number of children who have the opportunity to take part in quality early learning. The 2016 supplemental budget increases wages for some of the lowest paid early learning and family child care workers.

“I am honored to be receiving a Crayon Award in recognition of my work on behalf of young people across our state,” said Rep. Pettigrew. This is the second time Rep. Pettigrew has been selected for a Crayon Award; he was also a 2014 Crayon Award recipient.