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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Universal pre-K is needed, but include child-care workers in plan

Those of us who have been caring for young children over the past several decades have placed Initiative I-107 on the ballot. I doubt that The Seattle Times consulted any of us before penning Friday’s editorial [“Voters should thwart attempts to hijack mayor’s pre-K mandate,” Opinion, June 19].

If you work and have a young child, you know that preschool and child care are deeply interwoven. You also struggle to pay for them and your caregivers struggle to stay in the field despite financial hardship. The city’s plan unravels our current system without providing a sustainable or timely replacement.

The city universal pre-K plan would provide affordable education for all, and we absolutely support that. It would also destroy our Early Childhood Education (ECE) and child-care infrastructure by providing only 6 hours per day of instruction with no summer programming, leaving families to scramble for whatever care they could cobble together; bankrupting current ECE programs, destroying jobs for skilled workers and jeopardizing safe child care for Seattle’s workforce.

We want universal pre-K, but we want it done right. We need the hands, hearts and minds of ECE professionals lifting with the city to make it a reality, not their shoulders and backs shoved down to be climbed upon.

Roslyn Duffy, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: Early Childhood Education, preschool, Roslyn Duffy

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