The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly is considering an advisory ballot proposition to gauge the public’s support of an early childhood initiative called Best Starts. At its meeting this week, the Assembly decided to continue discussion later this summer on whether Best Starts should appear on the ballot this fall. The Best Starts proposition would ask voters in Juneau to support raising property taxes in order to bolster high-quality early childhood education programs. Read more about the Assembly’s decision in coverage from KTOO and the Juneau Empire.
Juneau has one of the largest supply and demand gaps in Alaska when it comes to early childhood education programs. Approximately 2 in 5 children in Juneau do not have access to licensed child care. And according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, only 32 percent of preschoolers entering kindergarten are ready for school. The Best Starts initiative would incentivize early education programs to increase quality and serve more low-income families. Learn more about Best Starts at juneaubeststarts.org.