Executive Constantine transmitted the Best Starts for Kids Implementation Plan and proposed ordinance that, if enacted, would adopt the plan to govern strategies, programs, and expenditures should the levy be approved for renewal by voters this August. The expanded levy would generate more than $880 million over six years for investment in the plan’s eight key programs and projects.
As King County voters consider renewal of the Best Starts for Kids levy this August, King County Executive Dow Constantine transmitted the initiative’s implementation plan to the King County Council, outlining proposed investments in promotion, prevention, and early intervention programs and services for children, youth, and young adults.
The proposed implementation plan continues the commitment of the original Best Starts for Kids levy, passed by voters in 2015, to put every child and youth in King County on the path toward life-long success.
"Best Starts for Kids is a groundbreaking, community-driven and science-informed initiative that is helping our children, youth, young adults, and their families realize their full potential to be healthy, happy, safe, and thriving," said Executive Constantine. "If approved by the voters, the new Best Starts for Kids levy will expand investments for our children now and define our region’s health, prosperity, and equity for generations to come."
The Best Starts Implementation Plan for 2022 – 2027 has eight main investment areas, which would be supported by the proposed levy of $883.3 million over six years:
- Invest Early (prenatal to age five)
- Sustain the Gain (ages five to 24)
- Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention
- Communities of Opportunity
- Child Care Subsidies and Wage Demonstration Project
- Capital Projects
- Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
The implementation plan was informed by a series of community surveys and conversations across the county, building on the consistent involvement from community throughout the first levy and to ensure that the new levy reflected this involvement as well.
The Executive transmits this plan as a part of a package of plans required by the County Council related to the potential renewal of the Best Starts for Kids levy – the first two were shared in July 2020 and January 2021, with the final due to the Council in October 2021.
Best Starts for Kids is a groundbreaking, community-driven and science-informed initiative that is helping our children, youth, young adults, and their families realize their full potential to be healthy, happy, safe, and thriving. If approved by the voters, the new Best Starts for Kids levy will expand investments for our children now and define our region’s health, prosperity, and equity for generations to come.
The implementation plan for Best Starts for Kids '2.0' is deeply informed by the community through listening sessions, feedback loops and course corrections made along the way. The first Best Starts levy provided transformational opportunities for youth and young adults in King County and holistic supports to guide them on their path to adulthood. We are proud to be part of shaping the future of this initiative and can’t wait to see its impact on the well-being of young people continue to grow.
Kindering is proud to be a Best Starts for Kids partner; and we are thankful for the many opportunities the County provided the community and organizations like Kindering to offer input and help shape Best Starts for Kids. As a direct result of this funding, Kindering provides critical support and measurable results for 2,564 of our children, families, and providers each year - nurturing hope, courage, and the skills to soar.
We at the North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA) appreciated that BSK staff held two community conversations in North King County to listen to the concerns and ideas we have about the ever growing unmet needs in our community that this initiative could address. With approx. 10% of the population of the county, we also have 10% of the need but without 10% of the services. We were glad to have the opportunity to participate in shaping this initiative with a direct connection to BSK staff. This outreach strengthened the communication and partnership between North King County providers and Best Starts, and we look forward to building on this to expand services and improve well-being in our north-end communities.
For more information, contact:
Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537