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Best Starts for Kids is entering its fourth year and things are changing in our communities.The Best Starts for Kids Health Survey questions are designed to help us better understand those changes. Parenting is hard work, and it is our hope that learning about your experiences as a parent, child's health, family strengths, and community supports will help all children in King County—including your children—grow up to be happy and healthy.

The survey will help us understand the greatest strengths and needs for children across our community, including families that speak languages other than English.

What is the Best Starts for Kids Health Survey?

  • A survey of King County families with children in elementary school or younger.
  • A groundbreaking survey to learn about the health, well-being, strengths, and needs of young children and their families in King County.
  • Not all families will be contacted, but please participate if you are selected. Your voice matters.

Best Starts for Kids Health Survey

Why should I participate?

  • The information provided by parents through the survey will guide the activities of the voter-approved Best Starts for Kids Initiative.
    • Best Starts is designed to ensure that every child, including your child, has the best chance to succeed in life.
    • The survey will help us understand the greatest strengths and needs for children across our community, including families that speak languages other than English.
  • We will continue to share the findings through our blog and website and the survey will continue over time to help us track whether we are making a difference in the health of King County children.

Who will participate?

  • We will be sending the survey to about 15,000 randomly chosen parents/guardians across all communities in King County. If you aren’t randomly chosen, there will be an opportunity for anyone to take the survey later in 2019.
  • 1 in 4 King County residents speak a language other than English. The survey will be available in six languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, and Somali.

How do I participate? 

  • Look for the Best Starts letter mailed January 2019! Families selected for the study will receive a letter and instructions to complete the survey. Families can go to the study website and enter their personal access code included in the letter. They can also call the phone number listed in their letter to complete the survey by phone or to request a paper copy.
  • The University of Washington’s School of Social Work Survey Research Division is conducting this survey. If you are selected, you will receive letters or phone calls from them.
  • Survey questions will ask you about the health of your children. For example:

    - Child's well-being - Healthy weight - Community supports
    - Parent-child connection - Physical activity
    - Basic needs
    - Breastfeeding - School experiences - Family strengths
    - Early childhood experiences - Child care and after-school care - Parent supports

Help, I can’t find my access code!

The Best Starts letter you receive in the mail has your personal access code listed in the grey box. If you lose your letter, don’t worry, you can still take the survey. Please call the University of Washington Survey Research Division at 1-888-313-9575 and they can provide you with your code.

How was my child’s name chosen?

If you received a letter in the mail, your child was randomly selected to participate.

Here is a brief description of how that works, and you can always contact us to get more details.

  • Staff at Public Health – Seattle & King County and the Department of Community and Human Services partnered with the Washington State Department of Health and public school districts in King County to safely and securely obtain names and parent/guardian contact information for a random sample of children. This only includes children ages 6 months to age 10 or 11 (in 5th grade). (Note that families that asked schools not to share their information prior to Spring 2018 were not included.)
  • By randomly selecting families to participate in the survey, there is a better chance that the results will truly reflect the opinions and experiences of all King County families with young children.

Between June 1 and July 31, we will open the survey to additional families that were not randomly selected. You may receive a link from King County or a trusted organization in your community who is partnering with us to expand our reach.

How does the study keep my information secure and confidential?

  • Your participation is voluntary and you can skip any questions or stop answering questions at any time.
  • All of your answers are confidential. Children’s names are removed to keep responses confidential. The data are collected only to inform Best Starts for Kids.
  • Only trained staff with permission to work with confidential information can see responses.
  • All information is carefully saved using secure technology. Only summarized results will be shared publicly, so no one family or individual could be identified.
  • Your information is safe to provide over the internet. All survey information is collected using strict security and encryption standards.
  • We will never ask for you or your child’s:
    • Social Security Number
    • Credit card information
    • Bank account information
    • Money or donations

For more information, contact:


Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9105

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-5260