YAKIMA – State Representative Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, visited local child care providers and stakeholders to hear about the successes and challenges they face.
Rep. Senn met with providers and Early Achievers coaches from Union Gap, Yakima and Toppenish, as well as visited Catholic Charities Growing Hope, Early Connections Play & Learn Group and Children’s Village.
As chair of the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee, Rep. Senn is responsible for overseeing critical policies that support children and families. After championing major legislative changes to these policies in the 2019 session, Rep. Senn organized a tour of every early learning district in the state to hear directly from home-based and center-based child care providers, early learning coaches and regional Child Care Aware staff.
“Dedicated child care providers work hard every day to make sure our youngest Washingtonians are well cared for, developing strong social emotional skills and enter Kindergarten ready to learn,” said Rep. Senn. “From Mt. Vernon to Vancouver, far too many families struggle to find and afford child care and child care providers struggle to make ends meet. This impacts families, local businesses and the economy overall.”
“I’m proud of the work we did this year in early learning and want to make sure the word gets out about the changes and opportunities,” said Rep. Senn. For instance, the legislature allocated $28.5 million in grants through the Early Learning Facilities Fund to remodel, repair, expand or build facilities offering subsidized child care. Applications are now being accepted.
“While we made some important progress this year to increase access to high-quality, affordable child care, there is a lot more work to do. I want to hear directly from early learning providers across the state about what is working and what is not.”
Rep. Senn also sits on the Local Government and Appropriations Committees, and serves as co-chair of the Oversight Board for the newly created Department of Children, Youth and Families.