Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

State Representative Tom Dent honored for work to expand access to high-quality early learning

Representative Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) was honored for his commitment to the first five years of a child’s life on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Annual Meeting & 75th Anniversary dinner of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce. 

“Early learning helps build strong families,” said Children’s Alliance early learning policy director Jennifer Jennings-Shaffer, presenting the award. “Representative Dent focuses on cutting through the bureaucracy to get kids what they need. We are grateful for his commitment to kids and families and I am happy to present him with this well-deserved award.”

PHOTO: Rep. Tom Dent received Crayon Award for commitment to kids and families.

Representative Dent is among 20 lawmakers across the state honored for their work on early learning policy. These leaders understand that children need high-quality, culturally relevant care to help them become resilient, successful learners. Investments in the first years of a child’s life are critical to closing the gap for children starting out with fewer opportunities. 

The Early Start Act, which legislators passed and funded in the 2015 legislative session, contains provisions designed to promote quality, culturally relevant early learning for children of diverse family backgrounds.

While these awards recognize achievements over the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions, the Early Learning Action Alliance sees these legislators as continuing leaders who are poised to grow their colleagues’ understanding about the importance of early learning and urge positive policies for young children.

The Early Learning Action Alliance has recognized the work of legislators in early learning since 2010. The award presentation was a nonprofit 501(c)(3) permissible activity and cannot be connected to any election-related intent or activity. See the full list of awardees here.

The Early Learning Action Alliance is convened by the Children’s Alliance, a statewide public policy advocacy organization that works at the state and federal level to ensure that all children have what they need to thrive. Learn more by contacting Jessica Roach: (206) 324-0340 ext. 29 or