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Proposed millage would fund early childhood programs in Kent County


The Kent County Board of Commissioners have added a millage proposal to the ballot in November that  would generate millions of dollars for community-based early childhood programs in Kent County.

The 6-year, .25 millage would create a dedicated source of funding for early childhood services in Kent County while costing homeowners an additional $23 per year or about $1.90.

The Millage Proposal is championed by early childhood development organization First Steps Kent, a public-private partnership providing childhood services in Kent County.

President and CEO AnneMarie Valdez says national research suggests investing in underserved children in the community produces has a high return.

“When you invest with the earliest, the results are tremendous. And you get between $3 per dollar to $13 per dollar return on investment,” Valdez said. “This is something that we need desperately in our community.”

According to First Steps Kent, over 20,000 children in the county live in poverty.

If approved by voters this fall, the new millage would raise around $5.4 million a year towards early childhood services. The proposal is set to appear on the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election ballot