King County logo
City of Seattle

Proposition Numbers 1A and 1B

Proposition 1A (submitted by Initiative Petition No. 107) and Proposition 1B (alternative proposed by the City Council and Mayor) concern early learning programs and providers of such services for children.

Proposition 1A (Initiative 107) would establish a $15 minimum wage for childcare workers (phased in over three years for employers with under 250 employees); seek to reduce childcare costs to 10% or less of family income; prohibit violent felons from providing professional childcare; require enhanced training and certification through a training institute; create a workforce board and establish a fund to help providers meet standards; and hire an organization to facilitate communication between the City and childcare workers.

As an alternative, the Seattle City Council and Mayor have proposed Proposition 1B (Ordinance 124509), which would fund the four-year initial phase of a City early learning program with the goal of developing a widely-available, affordable, licensed, and voluntary preschool option. The Ordinance requires support, training and certification for teachers. The program uses research-based strategies, includes evaluation of results, and provides tuition support. This proposition authorizes regular property taxes above RCW 84.55 limits, allowing additional 2015 collection of up to $14,566,630 (approximately 11¢ per $1,000 assessed value), totaling $58,266,518 over four years.

1. Should either of these measures be enacted into law?



2. Regardless of whether you voted yes or no above, if one of these measures is enacted, which one should it be?

Proposition 1A

Proposition 1B

This measure presents voters with two questions.  The first question is whether either of the two alternative propositions, both of which concern early learning and providers of such services for children, should be adopted.  The second question is which of the two alternative propositions should be adopted.  If a majority of voters voting on the first question vote “No,” then neither alternative proposition will be adopted.  If a majority of voters voting on the first question vote “Yes,” then the alternative proposition receiving the greatest number of votes in the second question will be adopted.  Voters may vote on the second question regardless of how they voted on the first question.  The explanatory statement for each of the alternative propositions appears on the next page of this voters’ pamphlet.

Explanatory Statement – 1A:

Currently, state law requires most child care providers to be licensed and disqualifies individuals with certain criminal convictions.  The City of Seattle does not currently license or regulate early learning and child care services.  Proposition 1A would adopt certain local regulations for providers of such services within Seattle.   Child care providers are defined to include all early learning/preschool providers, including any City preschool program providers. 

Current law mandates a $15/hr. minimum wage for most Seattle employees to be phased in over three to seven years beginning April 1, 2015.  Proposition 1A would change that schedule for early learning and child care teachers and staff, creating a separate schedule for workers in these categories, to be phased in over three years for certain employers beginning January 1, 2015.

Proposition 1A would also require implementation of a policy that no family should pay more than 10% of gross family income on early education and child care, and prohibit individuals with certain criminal convictions from providing child care in unlicensed facilities. 

Proposition 1A would also require the City to hire a “Provider Organization” to facilitate communications between the City and child care teachers and staff.  To be selected, an entity must have existed for more than 5 years, have successfully negotiated an agreement with a governmental entity on behalf of child care teachers and staff, not be dominated by advocates for employer or government interests, and offer membership to teachers and staff.       

Proposition 1A would also require creation of a “Professional Development Institute”  that must be funded by the City and be jointly controlled and operated by the City and the Provider Organization.  Early learning and child care teachers and staff would have to obtain training and certification through the Institute.        

Proposition 1A would also create a “Workforce Board” to recommend policy and investment priorities for the training of child care teachers and staff, to oversee the Professional Development Institute, and to oversee a Small Business Early Childhood Resource Fund created to help small and nonprofit child care providers meet the Initiative’s requirements.  The Mayor and the Provider Organization would each appoint half of the Board. 

Proposition 1A would also allow certain persons to sue the City to enforce its terms and entitle such persons to attorney’s fees and costs if the City is found in violation. 

Proposition 1A provides no funding sources for the Professional Development Institute, the Small Business Early Childhood Resource Fund, or to hire a Provider Organization.

Explanatory Statement – 1B:

Currently, the City of Seattle is served by private preschool and child care providers licensed and regulated by the state.  Proposition 1B would adopt the City Council and Mayor’s proposed comprehensive approach to City-supported preschool and approve a property tax increase to fund the program for four years.  The City’s preschool program would be voluntary and would serve 3- and 4-year-olds, providing free tuition for families at or below 300% of the federal poverty level and setting tuition on a sliding scale for other families, with some level of subsidy for all families.  The City would contract for preschool services with eligible providers licensed for safety and certified for quality.  The levy would allow 2015 collection of up to $14,566,630 (approximately 11 cents per $1,000 assessed value) and $58,266,518 over four years.

Major program elements would include training for directors, supervisors, and teachers, including embedded professional development, coaching and mentoring; tuition support and degree pathway advising for teaching staff; external, independent evaluation of program implementation and outcomes; creation of data systems; quality assurance; and reporting.  The City would facilitate communications with teachers and staff, parents and guardians, and other relevant parties.

An Oversight Committee would be established to make formal recommendations on program design, including teacher professional development and training, and funding and to monitor progress.  The program would be subject to independent evaluation and reporting requirements.  The City would determine the most appropriate manner to effectuate the preschool program, including ways to address economic, cultural and linguistic barriers to participation and ways to be responsive to the specific needs of low income, immigrant and refugee communities, and communities of color.  The City Council may amend the program as necessary.

For questions about this measure, contact: Wayne Barnett, Director, Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, 206-684-8577,

1A Pro Statement:

Seattle is facing a childcare crisis, and kids pay the real price when parents can’t afford to pay and teachers can’t afford to stay in their jobs.

Only Citizen’s Initiative 107 helps kids by working toward more affordable childcare: Quality, licensed childcare now costs Seattle families more than in-state tuition at the University of Washington. Single mothers pay up to 52% of their income on licensed childcare. Only Initiative 107 requires City Hall to work with the community to develop goals and a timeline for addressing this crisis. 

Only Citizen’s Initiative 107 helps kids by reducing teacher turnover.  Due to low wages and erratic training, up to 38% of our children’s caregivers leave their jobs each year. This is most harmful to children in critical early developmental stages. Leading national research shows children who experience consistency in their caregivers are significantly better prepared to succeed in school and life.

Only Citizen’s Initiative 107 raises standards for all of Seattle’s young children.

  • Ensures all of Seattle’s 4,500 licensed teachers receive needed world-class training and a $15.00 per hour minimum wage.
  • Sets a long-term goal of reducing childcare costs to 10% of a family’s income.
  • Improves safety standards by prohibiting violent felons from providing childcare (licensed or unlicensed).  
  • Establishes a training advisory board that includes parents and teachers who know firsthand the challenges of affordable, high quality childcare.

Only Citizen’s Initiative 107 is affordable.   By making efficient and strategic reforms to our existing system, only Initiative 107 helps more kids without raising property taxes. Leveraging private, federal and state funds – Initiative 107 is estimated to cost half that of City Hall’s plan, while reaching five times the number of teachers and children they teach.

Only Citizen’s Initiative 107 was developed by parents, teachers and experts who know early learning starts at birth. Only Initiative 107 addresses the needs of our children, from birth to school age, instead of waiting until a child turns three years old.

Supported by those we trust.

Washington Community Action Network; Ages in Stages Childcare and Preschool; Tiny Tots Development Center; CARE: Culturally Appropriate and Responsive Education Center; Economic Opportunity Institute; American Federation of Teachers, Seattle; SEIU Washington State Council; Working Washington -- and many more parents, teachers, education experts, childcare centers, elected officials, unions and community organizations. More at

Support higher quality, more affordable childcare in Seattle.

Vote for Proposition 1A: Citizen’s Initiative 107!

1B Pro Statement:

VOTE YES for City of Seattle Preschool Program – Proposition 1B!

Providing quality preschool for children across Seattle regardless of economic circumstance is one of the most important things we can do as a city. We need a program that focuses on the well being of our kids, which includes high quality standards, and is fully funded. The City of Seattle’s preschool program (Proposition 1B), supported by Mayor Murray, the City Council, early education experts and respected providers is the only ballot measure that meets that test.

Good for Our Kids

Nearly a quarter of Seattle schoolchildren fall behind by grade three, and the numbers are worse for children of color, low income and immigrant kids. We can fix this problem – kids who experience quality preschool have better high school and college graduation rates, lower levels of behavioral problems, and have greater economic success as adults.  Providing quality preschool in facilities licensed for safety will ensure our kids enter kindergarten ready to learn.

The targeted, voluntary Seattle Preschool Program makes quality preschool an affordable reality for Seattle’s 3- and 4-year old children. Unlike the competing plan, Prop 1B establishes strong quality standards to ensure kids learn the skills they need to succeed in the K-12 system.

A Realistic, Fully Funded Plan

The Seattle Preschool Program (Proposition 1B) is funded with a modest property lax levy of about $43 a year for a family living in a $400,000 home. This investment funds preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds using a sliding payment scale and provides subsidies to families based on financial need, making preschool free for 4-person households making up to $71,000 per year.

The opposing plan includes many costly mandates but doesn’t provide any funding for these new requirements or to assist those families struggling to afford preschool. Also unlike the competing plan, Proposition 1B funds training and skills development for participating preschool teachers to help them meet the program’s standards, and ensures those teachers earn salaries comparable to elementary school teachers.

Broad Support for the Seattle Plan

The City proposal is the result of an inclusive process that unites the Mayor, City Council, providers, Tabor 100, Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP, the YMCA and dozens of other respected organizations. Proposition 1B is the only preschool plan endorsed by the King County Labor Council.

Let’s ensure all Seattle kids have the chance to succeed. Vote YES on Prop 1B!

1A Con Statement:

Seattle Proposition 1A: The Wrong Approach

Seattle Proposition 1A provides no funding to help families struggling to pay for quality preschool and no funding for improved teacher training to make sure Seattle's kids get the high quality pre-school they deserve. What it does include are huge unfunded mandates that will force the City to cut other critical services because you can't get something for nothing.

Threatens Huge Cuts to Other City Services

The City of Seattle Budget Office estimates that if fully implemented Proposition 1A will cost the City about $100 million per year, far more than the entire human services budget. And because Prop 1A has no funding source, it would require a 10 percent across-the-board cut to City services, including police and fire.

Costly Mandates, No Funding

All of us want to provide the best opportunities for Seattle pre-schoolers, but Prop 1A is completely incompatible with the goals of providing high quality, student-centered early education to those who need it most—while also protecting critical city services. There is a reason respected organizations like the YMCA of Greater Seattle, other local care providers, Tabor 100, Save the Children Action Network, Seattle Firefighters Local 27 and the King County Labor Council support the City-sponsored measure and not Prop 1A: 1A imposes costly mandates on City government while failing to address the fundamental need to provide proven, quality pre-k to Seattle’s kids.

Focused on Adults, Not Kids

Prop 1A was written by special interests who stand to gain from its passage. It requires childcare teachers and staff to get certification through a training institute paid for by taxpayers but controlled by the two outside groups sponsoring this initiative. It diverts scarce resources to benefit those organizations instead of focusing on what’s best for Seattle kids and it reduces quality standards compared to the City-backed measure. That's another reason why the City measure, not Prop 1A, is supported by care providers, unions, and education leaders like former Mayor Norm Rice.

Don’t Be Fooled By Misleading Promises

Prop 1A supporters mislead the public when they say this is about raising wages. Childcare workers will already get $15 an hour and paid sick leave under new City laws.

We can’t afford an unfunded, misguided plan that diverts resources away from critical public priorities. Please Vote NO on Prop 1A!

1B Con Statement:

Propositions 1A (Citizen’s Initiative 107) and 1B (City Hall’s plan) together create a more affordable, accessible, and high quality early learning system for Seattle’s families. Unfortunately, City Hall has wrongly pitted these two ballot measures against each other. While most of us can agree on the goal of universal preschool, it is critical to get it right.

City Hall’s plan is too narrow for its price tag. Too many children in Seattle are already falling behind in school, and the numbers are significantly worse for children of color and low income and immigrant families. Parents and teachers know that learning starts at birth. City Hall’s plan leaves too many behind by reaching only 100 teachers, and only 2,000 of the 34,000 Seattle children under the age of five.

City Hall’s plan restricts the choice of parents by creating only a small number of classrooms with rigid curriculum guidelines for the whole city.

City Hall’s plan drives out experienced teachers with decades of experience by placing new burdensome regulations on caregivers.

City Hall’s plan does nothing to address affordability of childcare. Seattle families pay $40,000 on childcare in the first five years of their child’s life. Quality early childcare is out of reach for too many kids.

Citizen’s Initiative 107, an affordable alternative to City Hall’s plan, gets it right by raising standards for all of Seattle’s 4,500 licensed teachers, working toward lowered childcare costs for all families, and fostering high quality care for all of our city’s children.  Citizen’s Initiative 107 is estimated to cost half that of City Hall’s plan, while reaching five times the number of teachers and children they teach.

Seattle needs a solution that addresses the number one issue facing kids: inconsistent care and teacher turnover. Each year, 38% of early childhood educators leave the field. Seattle’s childcare system needs professional development that supports and guides teachers and care providers—and involves early educators and parents from the start.

Join parents, teachers and community organizations in supporting the only proposal that raises standards for all of Seattle’s children – Citizen’s Initiative 107!


1A Pro Rebuttal:

Instead of manufacturing conflict, let’s work together to find the most cost effective ways to do what’s best for all of Seattle’s kids. 

  • City Hall’s top-down plan requires $58 million in new property taxes and only reaches 6% of Seattle’s kids under 5.
  • I- 107 – estimated to cost as little as $3 million to implement – is cost effective, requiring no new taxes and addresses quality and affordability of care for 100% of Seattle’s kids.
  • I-107 is collaborative, not top-down like City Hall’s plan. A parent-teacher-expert board will recommend high quality childcare standards for approval by City Council.
  • I-107 is innovative, establishing a private-public partnership and training program to leverage existing monies from federal, state, and private funding sources.
  • I-107 is endorsed by parents, preschool teachers, childcare experts and organizations we know and trust, not political insiders and big business.

Vote for Prop1A, I-107.

Submitted by: Patricia Bailey, Laura Chandler, and Katherine Green -

1B Pro Rebuttal:

Unlike 1B (the City proposal), Proposition 1A (I-107) is unfunded and unaffordable.

A progressive, child-focused plan, 1B has sole endorsements from Mayor Murray, former Mayor Norm Rice, early learning experts, King County Labor Council, the YMCA and many neighborhood providers.

Proposition 1B is the only funded preschool plan, the only one that provides money for teacher training, and the only one that’s voluntary for parents and providers. In contrast, 1A includes unaffordable mandates – costing around $100 million per year, six times the cost of 1B – and provides no money to pay for them.

Prop 1B is carefully targeted at three and four year-olds, because we can have the greatest impact at these ages. 1A is so poorly written and overly broad it opens the City to lawsuits to pay costs for non-preschool programs— not the targeted, quality preschool we need.

1B is the best option for Seattle’s kids.  Vote Yes!

Submitted by: Norm Rice, Maggie Burgess, and Calvin Lyons -




1A Con Rebuttal:

Contrary to proponents’ self-serving spin, Proposition 1A (I-107) is deeply flawed and irresponsible, creating hundreds of millions in additional public costs without providing any way to pay for them.

Unlike 1B, which is voluntary, carefully targeted preschool that ramps up over time to ensure effective, quality instruction for kids, Proposition 1A is overly broad, even covering many non-preschool programs, adding huge additional costs. That’s not quality preschool.

1A forces all providers into a training system controlled by two unions sponsoring Prop 1A, with Seattle taxpayers on the hook for the costs. Don’t get snookered by proponents’ self-serving “estimate”– the non-partisan, publicly available Seattle Budget Office fiscal analysis finds 1A imposes costs of about $100 million a year, requiring deep cuts in other City services to fund.

That’s why the King County Labor Council didn’t endorse Proposition 1A, instead backing Proposition 1B. Please reject this irresponsible, unaffordable measure. Choose 1B instead.

Submitted by: Bob Gilbertson and Sarah Morningstar -

1B Con Rebuttal:

Both Proposition 1A and 1B are good for kids. The differences come down to cost, collaboration and community support. 

  • Cost City Hall’s top-down plan requires $58 million in new property taxes and reaches 6% of Seattle’s kids under 5.
  • I- 107 – estimated to cost as little as $3 million to implement – is cost effective, requiring no new taxes and addresses quality and affordability of care for 100% of Seattle’s kids.
  • I-107 is collaborative, not top-down like City Hall’s plan. A parent-teacher-expert board will recommend high quality childcare standards for approval by City Council.
  • I-107 is innovative, establishing a private-public partnership and training program to leverage existing monies from federal, state, and private funding sources.
  • I-107 is endorsed by parents, preschool teachers, childcare experts and organizations we know and trust, not political insiders and big business.

 Vote for Prop1A, Citizen’s Initiatve107.

Submitted by: Vincent Duffy, Lauren Tozzi, and Vonzella Avery -





Simple Majority as to the first question; if first question is approved, then the option with the most votes as to second question (Seattle City Charter, article IV)

1262 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

Sign up for email or text notifications