Archives: Washington Policy Watch

No one is profiting from the high cost of child care

Photo: Herald Post via Flickr

Carolanne Sanders | June 14, 2017

Affordable child care is becoming increasingly unobtainable for Washington families. As the need for child care continues to grow, investment in public programs is dropping and providers are leaving the workforce. A study from New America shows that it costs more to send a child to preschool than a public col

Inslee’s budget is pragmatic — but our students need state leaders to go bold

Photo: Tax Credits (Flickr Creative Commons)

Marilyn Watkins | December 20, 2016

Whether delighted or appalled at the outcome of November’s national elections, pretty much everyone agrees good schools are important. Every kid deserves a shot at opportunity, regardless of the color of their skin, the income of their parents, or the zip code of their residence. Beyond that basic human right

Wages too low, options too few: Washington’s child care crisis impacts children, parents, providers

child ladder

Aaron Keating | April 28, 2016

For Laura Chandler, seeing parents struggle with the rising costs of child care and dwindling availability is almost a daily occurrence. Chandler has worked as an early learning curriculum coordinator at Small Faces in Seattle for almost three decades: “I’m proud to work in child care, but after 28 years in t

Building political will and finding public revenue for early care and learning

Photo: Quinn Norton/Flickr Creative Commons

John Burbank | March 24, 2016

Early childhood caregiving and education is plagued by underfunding. As a result, private “tuition” is often higher than that of higher education, while caregivers and teachers work themselves into poverty. For example, the average annual cost of child care in a child care center in 2014 in Washington State w

Want quality early learning? Pay teachers

Photo: via Flickr Creative Commons

John Burbank | January 13, 2016

You may remember the Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson hit from the mid-70’s that started, “Mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.” There’s probably less chance to become a cowboy these days — but if you change the line to “Mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be child care teachers” it would ho

‘Listening tour’ a tone-deaf exercise

A teacher helps her students in the classroom

John Burbank | October 21, 2015

Recently the State Senate Early Learning and Education Committee brought their listening tour about K-12 education to Everett. This listening tour has come about as the Legislature has been found in contempt by our state Supreme Court of failing to meet “the paramount constitutional duty … to make ample provi

A path forward on full funding for Washington’s schools

jrb graph for herald column

John Burbank | September 28, 2015

Good public schools won’t solve all the problems we face — but public education is a crucial cornerstone for creating hope and opportunity for students, and for building stronger communities and a more prosperous, equitable economy. Ensuring every child has equal access to this ladder of opportunity, from pre

Legislators propose significant boost for WA preschool, child care programs

Credit: Barnaby Wasson (Flickr Creative Commons)

Gary Burris | January 22, 2015

A quick update on an exciting legislative effort — underway now — to significantly boost Washington’s early learning system. A bill introduced by Senator Steve Litzow and Representative Ruth Kagi (the Early Start Act – House/Senate) would improve access to quality pre-school and child care programs. The Lea

How Proposition 1A will put Seattle on the road to high-quality early learning

child climbing ladder

Gary Burris | October 27, 2014

Seattle’s Proposition 1A and Proposition 1B are both about high-quality early learning – but the similarities end there. Here’s why we recommend 1A for voters, and how 1B can be improved for next year.

UW’s online early learning degree cheaper, but not better for graduates


John Burbank | May 14, 2013

This spring the University of Washington announced with great fanfare its newest bachelor’s degree program. Joining in the chorus of support for early learning, UW has developed an on-line degree in early childhood education. This will prepare “individuals to work in early learning and child care…” It seems l

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