by Amanda Ong
Villa Comunitaria (VC) started in 2005 as the South Park Information and Resource Center. Now sixteen years old, the organization — in 2021 alone — delivered $500,000 in rental assistance funds, 500 vaccines to clients, 6,480 pounds of produce from the Salsa de la Vida program, and helped clients complete thirty-five citizenship pre-applications. They have also hosted workshops for community members to participate and engage in life-skills and other topics.
Executive Director Analia Bertoni remembers coming to VC over a decade and a half ago first as a client. “I came to Seattle as an immigrant in 2001 because of one of the many economic crises in Argentina,” Bertoni told the South Seattle Emerald in an interview. “My family of four came to work and provide a better life for our children who were 14 and 11 … I showed up as a client, eager to connect with other people who spoke Spanish.”
Continue reading Villa Comunitaria Looks Back on 2021 and Forward to Their Family Early Learning Cooperative
by Kevin Schofield
This weekend’s “long read” comes from investigative journalism organization InvestigateWest, and it dives into why childcare services are so expensive in Washington — and across the nation.
Childcare in our state can be ruinously expensive for families, costing anywhere from $11,000 per year for a 4-year-old in a program designed to meet the state’s minimum standards, to over $30,000 for an infant in a “high quality” childcare center. But if you think providers are raking in the money, you’d be wrong; most of them are operating on thin margins.
Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: The Real Costs of Child Care
by Scarlett To
As the Washington State Legislature responds to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Washington families continue to struggle with multiple crises, and we need action from our leaders now. As a local mother and advocate, I am urging lawmakers to take bold and swift action to get immediate relief to communities and families.
Continue reading OPINION: A Mother’s Call to Action for State Lawmakers
by Marilyn Watkins
COVID-19 has hit the hardest smack at the intersection of racial, gender, and economic disparities, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable amongst us. Black and Brown communities have been much more likely than whites to suffer illness and financial hardship due to COVID-19. The closure of schools and childcare facilities has put a whole generation of kids at risk while throwing a double whammy at women of all races, who provided the bulk of unpaid family care pre-COVID-19, and are now struggling to juggle work with full-time childcare plus supervision of schooling.
We need both our state and federal governments to commit to investments and policies that build health, economic security, and educational opportunity for women and children, with special emphasis on families of Color.
Continue reading OPINION: ‘Building Back Better’ Requires Big New Investments in Women and Caregiving
by Ben Adlin
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.
Continue reading Seattle Offers Free Child Care to Qualifying Families Through End of 2020
by Erin Okuno
With COVID-19 surging, a recession, unemployment in King County at 14%, and the renewed call for justice and equity for BIPOC lives, it’s an important year to pay attention to local as well as national elections. While the country is focused on the November presidential election, Washingtonians would do well to focus on some very consequential local elections coming much sooner.
Washington State’s 2020 primary election is on August 4. Citizens should focus their efforts on exercising the power of the ballot locally and vote in the primary. Those who are not able to vote can still participate in voter education, support candidates, and help get out the vote.
Continue reading OPINION: Vote for Kids August 4