A Few Wins for Afterschool/Summer in State Budget
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
The Washington State Legislature finally came to an agreement on the state budget in a third special session. Below are some of the wins that will strengthen afterschool and summer programs for our children and youth:
- The Early Start Act passed by great margins. The goal of the bill is to ensure all children in child care are in quality programs. A part of that bill includes supporting quality child care for children ages 5-12 through the School-Age Early Achievers Pilot. The pilot will be developed by the state’s education and early learning departments with input from the afterschool and summer field. SOWA will be closely monitoring the development of the pilot.
- The potential $8 million cut to the Working Connections Child Care Subsidy program and the proposed elimination of the statewide child care information and referral system were thwarted thanks to all the letters of support advocates statewide sent their legislators. Both programs remain funded and intact.
- The Youth Recreational Fund, which helps fund building construction costs was increased to over $7.3 million over the two year budget cycle.
- Funding for afterschool mentoring was included in the budget and will support five sites over the next two years.
We’ll need your help over the next year in making afterschool and summer programs a priority for legislators. If you are interested in learning more about advocacy and educating legislators (example: bringing them to visit your program or your child’s program), please email SOWA Education Policy and Advocacy Director David Beard at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also be notified about future policy updates by signing up for our Action Alerts.
With your help, we can ensure more kids have access to afterschool and summer programs!
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