A contributing factor to the continued growth in the education gap is the lack of affordable childcare for working parents in Seattle and too much money being spent on administrative costs and not making it to the child.
Quality childcare is out of reach for many working parents, particularly women, who are forced to choose between giving their kids to a neighbor or relative where kids may just watch TV all day or hurting their careers and futures by staying home from work or school.
We must acknowledge the hundreds of women who run childcare centers from their homes in Seattle. Many are women of color and have immigrant backgrounds who provide parents and children with accessible care in their own neighborhoods in their home languages.
Prop 1B only helps approximately 7% of Seattle’s children under age 5. The other 93% of Seattle’s kids will still be in unstable, haphazard preschools and childcare. Thus continuing the disparity in education.
Prop 1B is funded for four years and calls for an oversight committee. What happens after 4 years?
Prop 1B is a top down approach. This approach has not worked for the past 40 years, so why should we believe it will work now?
Prop 1A takes a step towards improving racial and gender equality by improving the quality and affordability of childcare and preschool for everyone. Out of pocket costs are capped at 10% of income without requiring new taxes.
Prop 1A is estimated to cost roughly 94% less than Prop 1B and ensures that licensed daycare providers receive quality training.
The lowered out-of-pocket costs and quality training for all providers will enable parents to assure their kids are receiving quality early education thereby leveling the field for all children.
Rita Green, MBA
Education Chair Seattle King County NAACP