At a cost of a week for the average home owner, nonprofit organizations can provide programs based on science and research at key stages in the life of children and youth, from prenatal care to programs directed at keeping youth in middle school and high school, and giving them grounding for training or college.
We know that intervention at an early stage in a child’s life will help kids grow up healthy, and arrive at kindergarten ready to learn, and that their odds for completing school successfully dramatically impacts the likelihood of a positive, contributory adulthood. Programs such as the Nurse Family Partnerships and Healthy Start for Kids are existing best practice programs that would be eligible for expansion under this Levy. These programs provide support and education to young parents with first children learn to nurture their new babies and to move through the first year of their children’s lives and provide the basis for later healthy development. We are very clear on the impact of positive intervention on the first 18 months of a child’s life from brain research. This is the crucial support that literally lasts a lifetime.
Research provides a solid basis for the fact that early intervention in a child’s life through the provision of mental health services can effectively combat adverse childhood experiences such as abuse or domestic violence as an example.
We urge your support for the Best Starts Levy. It is an affordable and effective way for each of us to make a lasting and positive difference in the lives of children and youth who live in our community. The Board of Directors of Renton Area Youth and Family Services fully endorses this Levy. We kindly encourage you to read more about the Best Starts levy.