Media Contact: Allie Wright, [email protected], (202) 794-1823
Seattle (May 31, 2017) – Today, the Seattle City Council Committee on Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance advanced a sweetened beverage tax that directs revenue to evidence-based programs that improve education and health outcomes for children.
These kinds of services seek to reduce the disparities in outcomes for children and families based on race, gender, or other socioeconomic factors and to prepare children for a strong start in kindergarten.
“Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) supports the sweetened beverage tax, which could help more kids gain access to high-quality early learning programs in Seattle,” said Mark Shriver, president of SCAN. “The first five years of life are critical in a child’s development and set the foundation for a lifetime of well-being.”
The Council Committee approved an amendment that would allow a one-time investment for Seattle Preschool Program facilities, as well as promote a voice for the community by creating a community Advisory Board to advise the mayor and city council on the programs and expenditures funded through the tax.
One of the biggest challenges of expanding the Seattle Preschool Program has been finding affordable spaces in Seattle that meet or can be retrofitted to meet the needs of preschool classrooms.
The sweetened beverage tax is a critical first step in an 18-month process where Seattle policymakers and residents will be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the city’s children, as both the Education and Families Levy and the Seattle Preschool Program Levy are up for renewal, which could put millions of dollars for the city’s youngest learners into question.
“The best way to ensure the benefits of early learning is to invest in kids,” said Shriver.
Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.