Washington State House Democrats


Representative Ruth Kagi gets a Crayon Award for her advocacy on behalf of young children

Legislative News from Representative Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle)

June 2, 2016

Every two years, the Early Learning Action Alliance presents awards to legislators who are leaders and champions for early learning in the legislature. Rep. Ruth Kagi (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.

“I am honored to be receiving a Crayon Award for my work on behalf of young people across our state,” said Rep. Kagi, chair of the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee.

Rep. Kagi is being recognized for her leadership in the legislature on early learning policies and funding. In 2015, the legislature, led by Rep. Kagi, 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.

“Half of Washington’s children show up to kindergarten already behind, and most never catch up,” said Kagi. “The Early Start Act gives providers and educators the tools, training, and support needed to provide quality early learning to children farthest from opportunity, and gives parents reliable information to use when choosing an early learning program.”