Key Legislators Receive Child Care Champion Award

Seattle, WA – Child Care Works For Washington, a statewide coalition of child care advocates and service providers, were in Olympia today advocating for a quality child care system and honoring five visionary legislators and policy makers who are helping improve child care in Washington.

Last year’s “Child Care Champions” presented this years’ awards to Representative Renee Radcliff (R-21), Representative Kip Tokuda (D-37), Senator Darlene Fairley (D-32), Senator Jeanine Long (R-44) and Karen Tvedt, former Chief of DSHS’s Office of Child Care Policy. The second annual ceremony took place Tuesday, February 23rd from 12-1:30 PM at the Capital Rotunda.

“I am honored to be recognized as an advocate for quality child care. We must have safe, affordable and accessible child care if we are concerned about our future,” stated Representative Kip Tokuda. In conjunction with the awards ceremony, dozens of early childhood education teachers and advocates (including children from Tiny Tots Day Care) were in Olympia talking with legislators about the importance of several legislative bills and budget priorities currently under consideration.

Child Care Works For Washington, in partnership with the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI), is advocating for development of a statewide child care career and wage ladder in order to build a ladder to the middle class for early childhood education teachers, and in turn to raise the quality of care for children. EOI designed a pilot career and wage ladder in concert with the Child Care Union Project and DSHS’s Office of Child Care Policy last summer.

Pay increments for early childhood education teachers would be based on experience, responsibility and education. Establishment of the career ladder is a top priority for child care advocates. Governor Locke is considering allocating $2 million for a pilot career and wage ladder for the next biennium.

Posted in Early Learning, Educational Opportunity