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To our community:

Intro Letter

As I write to you, Best Starts for Kids implementation is in full swing, and we are making excellent progress toward our shared vision for King County children, young people, and families. Our accomplishments this year speak to the hard work of our partners and communities to put every baby born and every child raised in King County on a path to health, well-being, and lifelong success.

Together, we expanded programs that support healthy child development and family well-being. We gave our children and young people tools, opportunities, and safe places to grow in school and throughout their communities. We supported community-led solutions to achieve greater health, social, economic, and racial equity in our county.

Best Starts for Kids is the first initiative of its kind. In the last year, we learned that doing things differently requires growth that is sometimes uncomfortable. Mutual learning requires transparency and trust. I am grateful to the community members and partners who believe in Best Starts for Kids and share their requests, concerns, and appreciation with us.

Our Children and Youth Advisory Board defines equity as “an ardent journey toward well-being as defined by the affected.” May we continue to learn and grow as we progress on this journey together.


Sheila Capestany

Strategic Advisor for Children and Youth


Preventing 3,000 people from experiencing homelessness

Best Starts for Kids prevented more than 3,000 people from experiencing homelessness in 2017. 96% of the young people and families who received services through the Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative still had a place to live as of September 2017, the latest data available.


Babies are born healthy and set up for lifelong health and well-being

Best Starts for Kids supports pregnant individuals, babies, very young children, and their parents during critical developmental years with a robust system of support services and resources that meets families where they are—home, community, and child care. In 2017, awards were made to expand home visiting programs and investments sustained access to critical public health services and early intervention services.

5_-_24_strategiesPhoto credit: Vietnamese Friendship Association

Helping young people in our county grow into happy, healthy adults

Best Starts for Kids launched programs across King County that give children and young people the tools and opportunities they need to grow into happy, healthy adults. We built programs for young people to develop as leaders, expanded access to health care and mental health services in schools, and created safer, healthier places for children and young people to learn and grow throughout their communities.


Communities of Opportunity: Transforming what it means to create health and well-being for all people

Communities of Opportunity is an inclusive table where community member and leaders, organizations and institutions share power, voice, and resources. See how COO is setting a course for positive change.


Engaging communities and building relationships

Best Starts for Kids staff visited nearly every corner of King County this year to listen to communities and spread the word about Best Starts funding. We met with hundreds of providers, community leaders, parents, and young people to get input, share ideas, and build relationships.

Data and Evaluation

Data and evaluation done differently

Thanks to almost 6,000 King County families participating in the first ever survey about the well-being, strengths and needs of young children and their families, Best Starts has baseline data to evaluate impact in communities. The data directly informs our investments and can be found on the Best Starts website. The data collection methods earned the Best Starts team a national award for equity recognition. With County Council approving the Best Starts Evaluation Plan, we are well on our way to measuring impact alongside our partners.

Whats Next

What’s next for Best Starts for Kids?

We are excited to support our funded community partners as they implement programs and deliver services. Best Starts expects to add new partners in 2018 with more awards! Stay tuned to the Best Starts blog and website to learn more about Best Starts funded resources, new funding opportunities and how we are working together to improve lives.

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9105

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-5260