Opinion

Writer addresses child-care crisis

Enclosed is an article from the Monday edition of "The East

County Journal" titled "County Council

to vote on pay subsidy for child-care in some areas of Eastside" by

Dean Radford, Journal reporter. Mr. Radford, from south county, felt

the issue newsworthy enough to approach us and send a photographer out to

our site; we did not seek him out. That article should have appeared in The

Valley Record, covered by a local reporter who would only have had to walk

two blocks to this site.

The article covered an issue important to all families with young

children. And the fact that it may now especially touch the families of

our community made it a perfect opportunity for the local newspaper to

bring the issues to the public scrutiny for discussion.

The King County Council's debate regarding the Ordinance

#2000-0237 (County Child Care Wage Ladder Pilot Project) has been intense and

can profoundly affect the quality of early childhood programs in our

county. Data from this five-year project will not only demonstrate the

importance of reducing staff turn-over in increasing quality service to children, but

it will increase public awareness of all the issues around the child-care

crisis.

The staff of [Good Neighbor Child Care Center] informed your staff

and invited them to report about the visit of David Irons to our site

regarding these issues. Mr. Irons did not agree with us politically about the

ordinance, but he cared enough to come and visit and ask pertinent questions about

our views. Our local paper did not deem it important enough to share with

the community. And so the seemingly "blasé" attitude of many members

of society toward the quality of life for our smallest citizens, those who

cannot advocate for themselves, continues unchallenged in the

Snoqualmie Valley, or at least the attitude that

these issues are not as important as other "newsworthy" events in our

"bustling" metropolis.

The ordinance passed, after much heated debate, at the Council

meeting last Monday, April 17. Hurrah! But the issues have not changed. It is our

job, as those adults who hold the well-being of our children in their hands

and heart, to continue the struggle to not only provide an excellent

"educaring" at a time when developing brains

"imprint" all that happens to and for

them, but to advocate whenever an opportunity arises on their behalf.

I am disappointed that our local paper missed such an excellent

opportunity to air the differing perspectives about such a critical issue.

Although the saying may sound overused, it is true that our "children now" is our

future. We cannot diminish the importance of that "now"; we must not

lose a moment or a child.

Arta Rose Lucas

Director, Good Neighbor

Child Care Center

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