In 2021, Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn) was recognized with numerous awards her work on policies in early learning and childcare, as well as comprehensive sexual health education. Below is a brief description of each award.

Golden Crayon Award from the Early Learning Action Alliance for Wilson’s outstanding leadership in early learning and her commitment to advancing early learning policies and funding over the last year, which has been crucial for Washington’s children and families.

Crayon Awards acknowledge achievements policymakers who support investments critical to supporting children and families. The award credited Wilson as a steadfast advocate of championing critical progress in early learning through legislation such as the Fair Start for Kids Act.

Ruth Kagi Award for Excellence in Early Learning Advocacy from Child Care Resources in recognition of Wilson’s work advancing policies that align with the mission of every child having a great start in school and in life.

The Ruth Kagi Award for Excellence in Early Learning Advocacy is awarded to elected officials who, show a devotion of time, agenda and effort in championing the educational needs of our youngest learners. This award was presented to Wilson together with Rep. Tana Senn, sponsor of the Fair Start for Kids Act companion bill and a key player in ensuring the Act passed in the House of representatives.

State Sex Education Champion from SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change for Wilson’s work in 2020 on Senate Bill 5395, which requires every public school in Washington to provide all students with comprehensive sexual health education, including affirmative consent and bystander training. SIECUS described Wilson as a “stalwart defender of access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care for Washington state’s youth” and said SB 5395 “sets a new high bar” to which other state elected officials should aspire.

SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change is a national organization that advocates for and advances comprehensive sexuality education policies, and the State Sex Education Champion award recognizes leaders who speak to the importance of all people receiving comprehensive sexuality education and quality sexual and reproductive health services. The award recognizes that long-term outcomes will positively impact all levels of society, particularly around issues of gender and racial equity, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, consent, personal safety and autonomy.

Childcare Change Maker from SEIU Local 925 in recognition of Wilson’s work to make affordable, accessible childcare a reality for all Washingtonians.

SEIU Local 925 is a labor union that unites 17,000 people across Washington who work in education from early learning through higher education, as well as members who work in local government and nonprofits. They work to provide quality education for children and students, to ensure that education remains a state priority, and to strengthen the workforce.

Shero Award from the Seattle Chapter of the National Organization for Women in honor of Wilson’s outstanding accomplishments and advocacy of women’s rights throughout her community and beyond. This award is given to women who have been powerful advocates for other women and who have done significant work to change women’s lives for the better. It recognized that Wilson’s work as a prime sponsor and major champion of the K-12 sexual education bill, which passed in 2020 will profoundly benefit girls and young women for years to come.

Champions for Early Learning and Childcare from the Children’s Campaign Fund in recognition of the leadership of Wilson and Senn as champions for early learning and childcare and the passage of the Fair Start for Kids Act.

In addition to being the prime sponsor of the Fair Start for Kids Act, Sen. Wilson was the prime sponsor of every early learning and childcare bill in the Senate that the Children’s Campaign fund prioritized and was the co-sponsor of many of its priority bills on other key issues as well.

Early Learning Champion from the Washington Childcare Centers Association for Wilson’s work on the Fair Start for Kids Act.

Washington Childcare Centers Association provides a unified voice for center owners and directors and is committed to actively working on behalf of Washington State’s early learning centers. WCCA advocates improved access to services for families while finding equitable and sustainable methods to support the workforce.

Champion for Children from the Children’s Alliance for Wilson’s work as prime sponsor of the Fair Start for Kids Act, which created unprecedented new access to high quality early learning, school-aged and early childhood care, and other supports for babies, toddlers and preschool-age children.

Champions for Children are state lawmakers recognized by the Children’s Alliance for their significant leadership in advancing state policies or investments to improve the well-being of children in Washington.


Photo: Sen. Claire Wilson (right) poses with Rep. Tana Senn (left) and former Washington State Rep. Ruth Kagi (center)