Billig recognized for dedication to early childhood education

October 28th, 2014|

Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, has been awarded the 2014 Golden Crayon Award from the Early Learning Action Alliance in recognition of Billig’s commitment to improving and expanding early learning programs over the past two years.

This past legislative biennium, Billig sponsored SSB 5595, a bill that improved the efficiency of the state’s early learning programs and increased access to high quality early learning for children from low-income families.

“High quality early learning is the key to make sure all kids get off to a great start and have a solid foundation for a successful future,” said Billig.

Last summer, Billig co-chaired the Child Care Improvements Task Force which worked to integrate the state’s child care and preschool programs to better serve families with a high-quality full-day learning experience. The recommendations from that task force have been incorporated into legislation to further improve the quality of early learning programs in our state. That legislation, the Early Start Act will be considered during the 2015 legislative session.

“Child care and pre-school used to be seen as two separate programs. Now, we know it makes more sense to view these two programs together. We can best achieve our goal of helping every child arrive at kindergarten ready to learn by combining child care and pre-school into a full day experience,” said Billig.

Billig is a member of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee and serves as a board member for Thrive by Five, a non-profit public-private partnership that assists the state in developing a high-quality early learning system.

“I am honored to receive the Gold Crayon Award and I look forward to working hard again next session to make sure all children have a meaningful early learning experience and are well prepared to realize their dreams,” said Billig.

Billig received the award at the Guardians of Childhood-Walk in the Park event on Saturday at Riverfront Park in Spokane.