As CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, I’ve watched our staff work tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic to serve the most at-risk youth on the Eastside. Because of these efforts, COVID-19 outbreaks have been kept at bay. Parents know they have a safe, reliable place for their children while they are at work.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s current plan provides K-12 teachers and child-care workers under the age of 50 access to vaccinations sometime in April. That’s not soon enough. If child-care workers are not included with teachers in the earliest possible access to the vaccine, they’re at risk of increased exposure.

Child-care workers serve as teachers, counselors, mental-health aides, entertainers, cooks, coaches and more. They provide vital services when schools, libraries, sports, arts and other options for children have been closed due to the pandemic. They’re a lifeline to all families, especially those that are struggling and have limited options for child care.

We must ensure that child-care workers — and all front-line education employees — are vaccinated early and with equity.

Tim Motts, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue