Women's Advisory Board Recommends Improving Child Care in King County

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff
The Women’s Advisory Board of King County has issued several recommendations for improving child care access and affordability in our region.   Child care in King County is among the most costly in the United States, with costs growing faster than inflation for the last 25 years.
The Women’s Advisory Board has studied the topic intensively since January 2017.  The lack of access to quality child care affects not only King County’s families but also its employers and economy.  The problem disproportionately impacts lower-income women, women of color, women in rural communities, and younger women.  Lack of child care also contributes to the gender pay gap and family pay gap.  Sarah Reyneveld, Chair of the Women’s Advisory Board, said:  “The WAB is excited to share our recommended policy solutions aimed at addressing the lack of affordable and accessible child care in King County, which is a stark problem that disproportionately impacts women.”
The Board is recommending that the King County Council adopt the following to address this issue:
Establish a King County Child Care Assistance Program to help low- and moderate-income families in King County afford quality child care.
Support the creation of new child care facilities in King County to expand child care supply and contribute to reasonable costs for child care providers.
Create a King County Child Care Task Force to further explore and develop these recommendations, to examine child care needs and to formulate solutions tailored for King County families and employers.
Address the high cost and shortage of infant care by adopting an Infants at Work Program and flexible telecommute policies.
King County should inspire and incentivize employers throughout King County to support families who require child care by developing a King County child care resource website, convening a child care employer roundtable, encouraging employer-supported child care and encouraging employers that are able to offer dependent care flexible spending accounts as part of their benefit package.
“My sincere thanks to the Women’s Advisory Board for their recommendations to improve access and affordability related to child care, a critical issue facing our region,” said Council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Chair of King County’s Health, Housing and Human Services Committee. “Addressing child care is a complex issue because of the layers of jurisdiction, the disproportionate impacts on various communities, and the overall high cost and general shortage of available care. I look forward to hearing more about these recommendations and discussing next steps.”
Members of the Board will present their child care recommendations before the King County Council’s Health, Housing, and Human Services Committee on February 19th at 9:30 am. 

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