Early Learning Questions for Candidate Forums

Candidate forums provide an excellent opportunity to find out where elected officials and potential elected officials stand on early learning. Perhaps more important, forums offer a chance to hear a candidate’s position on the record. Advocates can then remind them of this position when it comes time to vote on key early learning legislation.
Below you will find a list of possible questions. You will likely only have the chance to ask one question (unless you organize the forum), so choose based on what you know of that candidate and current policy priorities. Thrive staff are happy to help you think through which question/s to prioritize.


  • What is your position on early learning?
  • What are your budget priorities, and how would they impact children birth-8 and their families?
  • How would you ensure that all children in Washington have access to high quality early learning opportunities?
  • How would you propose that the state meet its obligation to serve all eligible children through the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program by 2018? How can we continue to grow ECEAP so that more children can be served?
  • How would you ensure that we continue to increase the quality of early learning programs across the state?
  • How can the legislature help strengthen and grow Early Achievers, which is our quality rating and improvement system?
  • Washington state is a national leader in a developing strong, high quality system for early learners and their families. How can we continue to be at the vanguard of this work?
  • In 2014, the Legislature failed to pass the Early Start Bill, which would have funded our state’s homegrown quality rating system, Early Achievers, strengthened the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, and provided a host of other important supports for early learning. What will you do to ensure that we pass the Early Start Bill in 2015?
  • How can we as a state meet our obligations to children and families across the education continuum — in early leaning, K-12, and higher education?
  • How would you support the continued professional growth and development of the early learning workforce?
  • What are your budget priorities, and how would they impact children and youth from birth through college graduation and/or entry into the workforce?