Childcare Subsidies Coming Soon to King County Families

Dear Neighbor,

Voters recently approved the renewal of King County’s Best Start for Kids measure which provides comprehensive support for children and families from birth to early adulthood. An exciting new element of this initiative is support for lower and middle-income families to pay for the cost of childcare.

In my meetings throughout the community, families spoke passionately about their need for help accessing and paying for quality childcare. That’s why it was so important to me to ensure that these subsidies were part of the Best Start for Kids renewal and why I am so excited that voters chose to renew the plan.

Under the new plan, 3000 children and their families will receive support each year to pay for the cost of their childcare. Families who live in geographic areas or communities without sufficient access to quality childcare will be prioritized.

These subsidies are expected to become available starting in the second half of 2022 and I’ll be following up with more information as soon as the program goes live.

More information about Best Start for Kids can be found here.

Listening to Public Safety Concerns

Last week, I joined Kent City Council President Toni Troutner and Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla at the Kent Chamber of Commerce luncheon where we listened to local small businesses leaders share their experiences with crime and public safety in our community. As always, when I am in the community listening and learning, I gained valuable information and insights that I can use in my work at the Council.

You can watch the full, edited video of the event here.

King County Supports Kent’s Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden

One of the gems of South King County is Kent’s own Paradise Plots Community Garden, a labor of love started by World Relief Kent and nurtured by dozens of immigrant and refugee farmers, students, and community members. I was excited to join them at their summer celebration this week and to recognize all the amazing work they are doing for our community and for our environment.

Both King County government and the King County Flood Control District have partnered with World Relief on this inspirational, community-based project from its inception and it has been amazing to see the vision – that of a community space which would improve food access, build community, and foster the economic independence of local immigrant and refugee farmers – become a reality. Over fifty families from over twenty-three countries are growing healthy food at the garden, selling any extra that they may grow.

Paradise Plots also serves as a strong steward of our environment, using rain gardens to keep pollution out of the Puget Sound. Onsite composting reduces waste and provides nutrients for healthy soil.  Local students from Mill Creek Middle School learn about environmental science at the garden ensuring that the next generation will be good stewards of our environment.

This space is an example of the great things that can be achieved when a community comes together to create solutions that meet their unique needs.

King County Residents May Be Eligible for Support on Their Internet Bill

Zoom meetings.  Remote learning.  Facetiming distant friends.

How we work, learn and socialize has changed during the pandemic and these new ways of doing daily activities all require good quality, high-speed internet.

Throughout the pandemic, the County has been providing support for students, seniors, those on a low income and other vulnerable community members so that they can access information, learn from home and socialize safely.  No one should be left behind because they can’t afford a laptop or are unable to pay their internet bill and County funding over the last 18 months has helped reduce this “digital divide.”

Additional support is now available for eligible King County residents to lower the cost of their internet bill.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a federal program that provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a onetime discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers

For more information, visit kingcounty.gov/EBB to see if you qualify, or check with your internet provider.

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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