Hitting the ground running: A letter from Sheila Capestany

Shelia Capestany - King CountyOver the past several weeks, we’ve hit the ground running on Best Starts for Kids. Top on our list has been working with the King County Council to stand up the Children and Youth Advisory Board and synthesizing input from our community.

Best Starts for Kids is the first initiative of its kind

Passage of Executive Dow Constantine’s Best Starts for Kids initiative by King County voters provides an opportunity to improve the health and well-being of our children, youth, young adults and families. King County must be a place where all children and youth can achieve their full potential, and where the income of the household in which a child is raised is no longer a top predictor of that child’s success in life.

The Best Start for Kids levy will generate about $65 million per year. It’s the first strategy of its kind in the nation to offer a comprehensive approach to setting our children, youth, families and communities on the right path. Best Starts for Kids will improve outcomes by balancing King County’s investment portfolio with more preventive approaches.

Science and research show us that the most effective and least expensive way to reach the outcomes we all want to see is to invest in children before age five; make strategic investments at critical points in a young person’s life before age 24; and take actions to ensure that all children and youth have opportunities to live in thriving homes and communities.

We are in the critical planning phases for the initiative and are diligently putting into place the systems needed to ensure a transparent initiative process. This blog is part of that transparency. Feel free to share this new resource broadly and sign up for the Best Starts for Kids newsletter.

We look forward to continuing in partnership with you as Best Starts for Kids rolls out.


Sheila Capestany
Strategic Advisor, Children and Youth

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