Early Childhood Education is in Crisis – Let’s Hold the County Accountable!
Pic: Spokane Alliance Childcare Action, April 2022
The Spokane Alliance Childcare and Mental Health Team is made up of parents, providers, and community members from faith congregations, unions, and nonprofits. We have done research and relationship building – early childhood development needs long term, sustainable solutions, but immediately, it needs to be stabilized before the whole industry vanishes.
The Spokane region received $201 M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars for local municipalities to alleviate the burdens of the COVID pandemic. Before our involvement, only $1 M of those dollars were allocated for Childcare.
Because of our organizing efforts, $4 M ($3.5 from the City of Spokane and $500,000 from Spokane Valley) have been allocated towards Childcare. These commitments came after over 250 members of the Spokane Alliance gathered to educate our elected officials about the crisis in early childhood learning and ask for a public commitment of support.
The Spokane Board of County Commissioners has received $101 M in ARPA funds, yet has not yet allocated any of these funds towards early learning stabilization. Our County Commissioners need to hear from YOU!
We’re asking for at least $10 M towards childcare in the Spokane region to begin to alleviate the following pressures:
- Affordability for middle-class, working families
- Early learning workforce instability
- Lack of mental and behavioral health support in the classroom
We know that organizing works, now it’s time for the Spokane Board of County Commissioners to hear from us!
“Taking care of children has been traditionally undervalued, because it has been considered ‘women’s work.’ I have been asked on multiple occasions ‘when do you think you’ll get a real job?’ I think it’s important that I, as a man working in a predominantly female industry, say this: our work is not compensated like the profession that it is.” -Zac Whitehouse, GLOW Early Learning Center
“It should not matter what zip code you live in, how much you earn, or how you identify – everyone should be able to access safe and reliable care for their children.” -Diana Koorkanian-Sauders, Congregation Emanu-El
“I am a full human being, nurturing and protecting our kids, your kids. I am underpaid, under-resourced, and unrecognized by our larger community. My love and devotion to the kids keeps me going, but that love competes with the intense challenges I face every single day. We struggle to keep teachers, sometimes for more than 2 weeks, because of the toll on their emotional well-being in this field.” -Jamie Tate, Little Scholars Development Center
The above videos and more can be found on the Spokane Alliance's Facebook page. Be sure to follow us, so you do not miss an important event!
Who is the Spokane Alliance?
The Spokane Alliance is a non-partisan coalition of 38 organizations, including faith congregations, unions, non-profits, community groups, and childcare centers. We build relationships as a vessel to build power and organize for a better world. We work on issues that are deeply and broadly felt across our membership so that the problem no longer feels like a ‘me’ problem, but an ‘us’ problem. We are stronger together! Learn more HERE.