This year’s “T’Challaween: A Tribute to Our Heroes & Role Models” will take place on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 1–4 p.m. and will feature a one-mile, socially distant, COVID-safe costume parade along the Beacon Hill Greenwayfrom South College Street to the South Spokane Street entrance to Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill. Candy tossers will be stationed along the way to load up paraders with sweetness! (Masks will be required again this year.)
Last year, the community turned out to make our inaugural event possible and we need your help to make it happen again! We have multiple volunteer opportunities, including volunteer coordination, candy tossers, event ambassadors, floaters, set-up/tear-down crew, and there’s even still room on the planning committee and plenty to do! Shoot us an email to come on board.
Since January 2021, 95 preschools in King County have permanently shut their doors. In-home and institutional child care providers struggle to receive equitable support from the State but remain determined to prioritize and educate children.
by Samira George
(This article originally appeared on RealChange and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Long before the global pandemic, the United States had woefully underinvested in the child care industry. The government directs only a small percent of funding toward child care compared with the whole U.S. education system, according to Ryan Pricco, the director of Policy & Advocacy at Tacoma-based nonprofit Child Care Aware Washington.
“Child care educators themselves make less money than parking lot attendants and pet groomers. They rank in the third percentile of all occupational wages in Washington,” Pricco said.
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
Excessive Heat Warning for Seattle Through Saturday
From Alert Seattle: “The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Seattle due to forecasted high temperatures above 90 degrees. The warming trend will begin Wednesday and continue through Saturday. Cooling centers will be available across the city, and outreach teams are on the ground working with our most vulnerable residents to prevent heat illness in these extreme conditions. You can find a map of locations here.”
Every day for the past year, I’ve heard from families across Washington State about just how hard this year has been. Single moms who were struggling to find quality affordable child care for their kids because the pandemic has closed down so many child care centers. Hardworking parents who were laid off because of COVID-19 and are unable to make ends meet. Kids who struggled to adapt to online learning. Grandparents raising their grandchildren who were afraid to send them to school for fear of bringing home the virus. When I hear from communities of color, I hear about how long-standing inequities made the effects of the pandemic even more dire.
Every day for the past year, I’ve heard these stories, and I’ve taken them with me back to the other Washington to fight for all our state’s families and make sure no community gets left behind. After a year of Republicans saying “no” to the kind of bold relief families in Washington State have been demanding for months — and after voters in Washington State and across the country made their voices heard in November and January — Democrats have finally passed a bill that begins to acknowledge the scope and scale of the crisis Washington State families have been facing.
Since the pandemic’s onset, Washington families have experienced a rolling crisis in jobs, hunger, health, and education. The prospect of eviction hangs over far too many. Food insecurity has skyrocketed. Child care facilities have closed, many of them permanently. And a rocky transition to remote learning is now impeding students’ educational progress. The acute stress on children and families may harm kids’ health, their education, and their ability to earn a living.
As 2020 draws to a close, Seattle officials are deploying leftover City funds to make child care free for qualifying families through the end of the year, a move meant to save struggling households hundreds of dollars and encourage new families to enroll.
The assistance, announced last month by the mayor’s office, has already eliminated November and December payments for hundreds of families with children currently enrolled in child care. But money and space are still available, and participating agencies want parents to know there’s still an opportunity to sign up.