CCA of WA Announces New Milestone for Early Achievers - Public Release of New Child Care Quality Ratings
Tacoma, WA – Nov. 3, 2015 – Finding high-quality child care and early learning programs just got easier in Washington, thanks to the public release of new quality ratings for child care and pre-school programs. The quality ratings, a key part of Early Achievers, Washington’s quality rating and improvement system, offer families seeking child care a clear, easy-to-understand rating system that can help them find a child care that best meets their family’s needs.
Early Achievers is a research-based, culturally-responsive framework for implementing a statewide system of high-quality child care programs that is accessible for all of Washington’s children. Early Achievers is open to all licensed child care providers, state pre-schools, tribal and military programs and so far serves more than 2,300 child care programs statewide, (that’s over 43% of all programs), including family child care homes, centers, tribal and military programs and ECEAP providers. Early Achievers is reaching more than 70,000 children.
“This is great news for families! It can be challenging to find high-quality child care. Being able to see the Early Achievers quality ratings will help families make important decisions about which child care program is best for them,” said Robin Lester, Chief Executive Officer, at Child Care Aware of Washington.
The Early Achievers quality ratings will show up both in Child Care Aware of Washington’s online child care search at http://wa.childcareaware.org/families/family-resources-1/your-child-care-search, and in Child Care Check, operated by the Department of Early Learning. https://apps.del.wa.gov/check/CheckSearch.aspx.
Child Care Aware of Washington’s Family Center also will provide information about Early Achievers ratings over the phone to people who call asking for help finding child care. Our Family Center provided more than 23,200 child care referrals to over 16,400 families last year.
Since 2012 Child Care Aware of Washington has been working side-by-side with child care providers across the state helping them make quality improvements in their programs as part of Early Achievers. Each participating program receives free, high-quality trainings, coaching, support and other resources to help make important improvements in their programs that research shows really make a difference for young children. Child care programs are rated on quality by the University of Washington. Studies show that children who benefit from high-quality child care are more likely to succeed academically and graduate than children who experienced low-quality care.
The public release of the quality ratings is a key deliverable of our state’s federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, which our state won in 2011. Early Achievers was fully funded and signed into state law by Washington’s legislature last session as part of the Early Start Act. This means Early Achievers will continue to serve Washington’s child care providers and the more than 120,0001 young children age birth – 5 in our state that need child care every day for years to come.
Child Care Aware of Washington is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to connecting families to high-quality, licensed child care and early learning programs across the state, and to supporting providers who deliver high-quality care. As a statewide network of six regional agencies, we work side-by-side with early learning professionals, providing professional development services and higher education scholarships to help them integrate research-based, best-practices into their programs. We are committed to ensuring that each and every child in Washington has access to the quality care and education they need to succeed in school and life. For more information, please visit our website at http://wa.childcareaware.org.
(1) Child Care Aware of Washington 2014 Annual Data Report, Karen Sampson, http://wa.childcareaware.org/about-us/data/2014-data-folder/2014-annual-data-report