A Better Future For Families

New Child Care Facilities and Advanced Learning Opportunities For Our Youth

Dear Neighbor,

The King County Council has approved a plan that would address two critical needs in our community: Access to Child Care and Postsecondary Pathways for our Youth.

Using funds provided by the state, we are now investing in:

  • Early Learning Facilities for the youngest learners in our region; and,
  • A King County Promise strategy to support older youth through postsecondary completion.

The Early Learning Facilities funding will continue our commitment to increasing access to high-quality child care by supporting early learning construction projects. Beginning later this year, funds will be available for new construction, renovation, expansion or purchase of child care facilities.

As many parents use family child care businesses, funds will also be available for home-based child care providers for repairs or improvements so that they can continue to offer safe, affordable child care in their homes.

These investments – combined with the child care subsidies and workforce development support for child care providers that are part of the Best Start for Kids initiative – will assist thousands of families to find the high quality child care they need especially in areas – like South King County – where opportunities for child care are limited.

The King County Promise will provide local youth with the support they need to undertake postsecondary pathways that lead them toward career opportunities that previously may have been out of their reach. Eligible students will be able to access this programming next year.

Through the King County Promise, youth who have faced barriers to undertaking – and completing – postsecondary education will now have the opportunity to choose the future they want and receive the support they need to make that dream a reality.

When we provide parents with more child care options and students with more career possibilities, we give them the tools they need to be successful in work, in learning and in life.

Cleaning Up Lake Fenwick

Those of you who live by or visit Lake Fenwick know that it has at times been contaminated with blue-green algae making it unsafe for recreational activities. There have been three of these algal blooms at the lake in the past three years and these can pose a risk to people, pets and wildlife.

To address this problem, $150,000 will be included in the King County budget to fund clean-up of the blue-green algae in Lake Fenwick.

The funding will be provided to the City of Kent as part of our Waterworks grant program and will improve water quality by eradicating toxic algal blooms. The treatment will be non-toxic and will decrease bacteria build up by deactivating phosphorus in the water.

Many of you may fish, kayak or visit Lake Fenwick for other recreational purposes, so it’s important that we protect the lake’s water quality so that you – and future generations – can continue to enjoy the benefits of this South King County gem.

South King County Students Undertake Inaugural Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Now more than ever our youth need opportunities to secure a well-paid, skilled job with a career pathway that allows them to learn and grow.

Working with community, education and labor partners, we secured $500,000 in our County budget for pre-apprenticeship programs in South King County and the inaugural programs are now underway.

Highline Career and Technical Education and the Federal Way School District each received $250,000 for their pre-apprenticeship programs to train youth in the construction trades and provide them with opportunities in high-paying jobs.

I believe funding these pre-apprenticeship programs will help ensure that the demand for construction labor is met with skilled trade workers from our area.

Highline Public Schools’ inaugural “Introduction to Construction Trades” program ishelping 219 students learn about the trades and define their future career pathway.

An essential element of this construction trade pathways program is the community connection to local King County pre-apprenticeship programs, such as those offered by ANEW and more recently the Northwest Carpenter’s Institute in Kent.  These partnerships bring students closer to a meaningful educational and career pathway by sharing program outcomes and industry standards.

Through this investment, youth will have a pathway to secure, well-paid careers and our construction industry will benefit from skilled workers ready to build our future.

Honoring and Supporting Those Who Served

I was honored to join leaders from Kent Meridian VFW Post 6785 as they presented the colors (remotely) to open our King County Council meeting on Tuesday. I was also pleased to present them with a grant from King County to support their important work of getting veterans here in South King County connected to the services they might need.

Rick West, Councilmember Upthegrove, Craig Dougherty, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph and, Richard Klug.

As the Council continues to operate remotely, now is the perfect time to engage with our work and share your thoughts on legislation before us.

My team and I are available via email at dave.upthegrove@kingcounty.gov.

You can watch Council meetings via livestream on the Councils website or on KCTV channel 22. We take general public comment on the 4th Tuesday of every month.

To learn more about testifying before Council go to: https://www.kingcounty.gov/council/committees/full_council.aspx


Dave Upthegrove
King County Councilmember
District 5

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