CCA of WA Celebrates Important Milestone for Washington's Child Care & Early Learning System
Aug. 1, 2016 - Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA of WA) celebrates the dedication of Washington’s child care providers as our state marks the passage of an important milestone for early learning. As of Aug. 1, 2016, 90% of our state’s child care providers that serve young children on state subsidies have joined Early Achievers, Washington’s quality rating and improvement system. Child Care Aware of Washington provides the one-on-one support to child care providers that has helped make this success possible.
Participating Early Achievers child care programs receive free trainings and professional development, coaching and mentoring that is designed to improve the quality of their practice. They also are eligible for a wide-range of supports aimed to boost child care quality, including scholarships for higher education, grants to use for quality materials for children, increased subsidy reimbursement rates and annual quality awards for demonstrating high-quality.
“We are so proud of the hard work and dedication of our state’s child care providers and of our statewide field staff who have worked tirelessly with providers to help make this achievement possible,” said Robin Lester, Chief Executive Officer of Child Care Aware of Washington. “Their commitment to make high-quality child care accessible to all of Washington’s children is inspiring.”
“I’m excited that more than 3,000 providers chose to join us in improving the success of the next generation with high-quality early learning opportunities for our state’s diverse children.,” said Ross Hunter, Director, Department of Early Learning.
With funding from Washington State’s Department of Early Learning, CCA of WA provides the assistance, trainings and coaching providers receive as part of Early Achievers. In FY 2016 (ended 6/30/16) our trainers provided over 3,000 hours of trainings to providers across WA. CCA of WA coaches delivered more than 57,000 hours of coaching to help providers make the most of their interactions with children and their child care environments. CCA of WA’s scholarship program supported nearly 1,100 child care professionals to attend college in the 2015-2016 school year.
One of these scholars, Holly U. in King County, runs an Early Achievers family child care program and explained how the program helped her. As a high-school drop-out with few career options, Holly opened a family child care program to help make ends meet. Soon, her passion for early learning drove her to pursue higher education. Thanks to a scholarship from CCA of WA, made possible by Early Achievers, Holly is well on her way to earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Washington, and her child care program is stronger than ever. “Early Achievers truly has been life-changing for me, my program and my family. I don’t think anything would have helped me grow as much as Early Achievers has. I am extremely grateful. It’s changed my life.”
CCA of WA also provides families with free, local information and child care referrals so families can find the child care program that is right for them. Early Achievers helps parents by providing information about program quality and by ensuring that Early Achievers programs are commitment to ongoing, continuous quality improvement. In FY16 the Family Center served over 18,000 families searching for child care for nearly 27,000 children.
Child Care Aware of Washington is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to connecting families to local, high-quality, licensed child care and early learning programs, and to supporting providers who deliver high-quality care. As a statewide network of six regional agencies, we work side-by-side with child care providers, offering 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 and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Child-Care-Aware-of-Washington-149636987661/ and on Twitter @childcarewa.