OLYMPIA – State Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) introduced bipartisan legislation today to make child care more affordable and more accessible for families across Washington state. The Fair Start for Kids Act would reduce child care copays, support child care providers and build more child care facilities.
“Child care is more expensive than college. It’s costing our kids. It’s costing our families. And it’s costing our businesses,” said Senn. “Too few kids are ready for kindergarten, parents are missing work, child care providers are struggling to make ends meet and child care businesses are closing across the state.”
According to a recent report published by the Association of Washington Business, nearly half of Washington parents have a hard time finding affordable child care, resulting in Washington businesses losing $2.08 billion a year.
The Fair Start for Kids Act is a multi-faceted approach to solving the child care crisis that aims to make child care more accessible and affordable, bolster the child care workforce and supply, and provide parents with more resources as they raise young children.
“The best investment we can make is in our littlest learners,” said Senn. “Ninety percent of a child’s brain develops by age five, yet we only spend one percent of the state budget on early learning. It’s time to help our kids, families and economy grow strong.”
The Fair Start for Kids Act, HB 2661, is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 p.m. in House Hearing Room A.