King County Announces 'Best Starts for Kids' Initiative

Dow Constantine, King County Executive, will develop a levy proposal for early childhood and other youth services.

Constantine said he will work with community partners and other advisers to develop an initiative "Best Starts for Kids," which he announced Sept. 22 as part of his budget plan for 2015 and 2016.

The initiative's website cites social, health and economic research findings from prevention science showing how investing in children early in life will ultimately save the county money by reducing costs related to mental illness, substance abuse, violence, unemployment and other challenges.

The program also emphasizes the role of families in fostering children's brain development, leading to a "lifelong success in learning."

I-LABS co-director, Andrew Meltzoff, provided this quote for the "Best Starts for Kids" announcement:

"The latest advances in neuroscience prove that the first thousand days in a child's life are the crucial period that lays the foundation for a lifetime of learning. By providing assistance and support that is known to increase a child's brain development, we can help parents and caregivers from all socioeconomic backgrounds give our children the greatest opportunity to succeed. We look forward to working with Executive Constantine on applying the latest research for the benefit our children and our communities."