Panorama view of Seattle downtown skyline and Mt. Rainier, Washington.


Calling on Washingtonians to be a Voice for Kids in 2016

In partnership with Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP, Every Child Matters in Washington (ECM in WA) is working to ensure that issues facing kids and families are addressed at the ballot box.

Kids can’t vote, so we must be their voice. It’s up to us to understand the issues, sift through the campaign rhetoric, choose which candidates we believe will have kids’ interests at heart, and then VOTE!

Every Child Matters in Washington is working with a group of Head Start parents in Kings County to be ambassadors—to talk about the issues and the importance of advocating for kids, to register people to vote, and to get their pledge to vote with kids in mind.

Washington kids face serious challenges. One in six lives in poverty. 75,000 have no health insurance. 60% do not attend a preschool program. The good news is that children enrolled in the state’s ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) show remarkable growth in literacy development and the ability to use numbers. The bad news is that only 32% of children have access to the program.

It’s important for the future of our families, communities and economy that all kids have a chance at success. To do that we have to close the opportunity gap that keeps less affluent kids from having an equal chance for success.

One of the best ways to do that is to make sure all children have access to high-quality early education programs, which can:

  • narrow the achievement gap;
  • boost children’s earnings later in life;
  • lower involvement with the criminal justice system, and
  • bring about interventions that can reduce the need for remedial education.

In addition, gains in earnings from increased enrollment in early childhood education provide benefits that outweigh the costs of the program.

-From a report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, The Economics of Early Childhood Investments

Every Child Matters advocates for kids and working families during elections to get candidates and the public to better understand and seek solutions to problems like the shortage of good, affordable early learning programs and the lack of supports to help parents give their kids a strong start in life.

This election year is a perfect time to call attention to kids’ issues during campaigns. Many candidates will be out and about in the months to come—presidential, congressional, and state. They all have the potential to make a difference in our lives and those of our kids. Let’s work together in urging them to put kids on their platforms and ensure that every child matters!

And then, let’s all vote!



Joel Ryan, Executive Director, WSA for Head Start and ECEAP, or 425-453-1227
Hana Gregory, Program Manager, WSA for Head Start and ECEAP, or 425-453-1227