News Releases

Today Senator Murray attended the Kent Family Services Center's grand opening event where she was treated to a performance by more than a dozen local pre-school students.

Senator Murray secured $495,000 for the community center that includes four permanent Head Start classrooms, an expanded Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program run by the Seattle-King County Health Department, an adult learning and jobs center run by the Center for Career Alternatives, and a large community meeting space for East Hill residents.

Senator Murray delivered the following remarks:

Thank you, Jim, for that kind introduction. I want to thank County Executive Ron Sims for his support of this wonderful center.

I also want to thank Kent Youth & Family Services, the Kent County Housing Authority, Puget Sound ESD, and the Center for Career Alternatives for working together to make this project happen for the Kent community.

This family services center provides so many crucial services to the community. The Head Start classrooms housed here will ensure that Kent's children start school ready to learn. The Women, Infants and Children health care clinic will provide much-needed health care to mothers and children who might not otherwise receive that care. And the adult career services center will help residents find good jobs.

These are they types of services we need, and I've been proud to fight for them as ranking member of the Employment, Safety, and Training subcommittee, and on the HELP Subcommittee on Children and Families.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to look at child care from several angles – as a parent, a pre-school teacher, and a United States Senator.

As a parent, I know that it’s hard to focus on your job if you’re worried about where your kids are and what they’re doing. When parents have the peace of mind that their kids are in good hands, they’re more successful at work and that helps businesses of all kinds.

As a pre-school teacher, I’ve seen firsthand just how important those early years are to a child’s development. I remember children arriving for the first day of school in my pre-school class. Almost immediately, I could tell which children had been in a high-quality preschool or child care program and which children had not. Many of the kids who were not in quality programs were already behind their peers.

We cannot let another generation start out behind and spend a lifetime struggling to catch up. That's why I’ve worked to boost our investment in early childhood education and quality child care.

Quality, affordable child care pays real dividends for families, for children, for businesses and for communities. I’ve spent a lot of time in Head Start centers like this one, and I can tell you they’re not just teaching kids they’re changing lives.

Head Start works because of the commitment of local communities and the strong standards that ensure children are learning.

It’s going to take communities like this – that make it clear that these are important priorities – to make Head Start available to all the kids across the nation who need it.

We’ve got our work cut out for us in Congress, but we can do it if we stand together in strong partnerships like the one we're celebrating today. I’m proud to stand with you today, and I’m looking forward to continuing working with all of you for our children and our families.