Paving the way toward increased quality of child care

Early Achievers has now been underway in King County and across the state since July 2012.  The response to this system-wide initiative over the past year and half has been unexpectedly positive.  In King alone, we have over 650 participating licensed facilities, serving nearly 19,000 children!  Early Achievers is good for children, because it highlights what children need in their child care setting to be successful now and later on in school and life.    

 

One of the most exciting parts of participation is the access to professional development, scholarships for program staff to continue education, onsite coaching at the child care program and quality improvement awards for rated sites to invest back into their program.  By March of 2014, King County will have 145 rated child care facilities, and many additional sites getting closer to requesting a rating.  Watch a video to see how Early Achievers has had a positive impact on one child care program: 

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More time now means less time later

"A sure way to reduce crime is to invest in high-quality early learning for our youngest citizens," reads an article by guest columnists King County Sheriff John Urquhart and Interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel in a July 2013 issue of The Seattle Times. At Child Care Resources, we couldn’t agree more.

Curious to know what else they had to say? Read the whole article here.

Studies comparing outcomes for children from families with low incomes who attended high-quality preschool programs in Michigan and children who did not attend high-quality programs showed significant differences. Children — now 40 years of age — who attended the Perry Preschool program have had higher lifetime earnings, greater employment stability, higher educational attainment. greater family stability and dramatically reduced involvement in juvenile and adult crime. Those who attended the preschool program had lower rates of enrollment in special education, higher high-school graduation rates and lower arrest rates for juvenile and adult crimes. The studies have shown that for every child enrolled in a high-quality preschool, the average savings to the community in reduced crime, welfare and other social costs was $15,000. Read the full study here

Even TED Talks have discussed the benefits of early learning for our children. Watch here.

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The difference one call can make in your child’s life

In July 2012, Child Care Resources expanded the reach of our family call center from only King County to statewide and gave the new program a new name: Child Care Aware of Washington Family Call Center. Our expert family resource specialists field calls from parents and caregivers across Washington who are searching for quality child care. Within the first eighteen months of the statewide work, we received nearly 22,000 calls!

Along with the expansion, Child Care Resources engaged an evaluation firm to do a full external evaluation of the launch and the service delivery. The findings from this evaluation show that the call center is an exceptional service for families. See for yourself!

  • Over 85% of customers reported most or all of their needs were fulfilled by the call center specialist.
  • After speaking with call center staff, the majority of customers report an increased understanding of what quality child care looks like and of the connection between quality care and school readiness.
  • The majority of customers reported that they found care as a result of the information and help from the call center.
  • The call center surpassed its goal of maintaining statewide call volume in fact, the volume has increased by 18%!

To view the full report, click here.

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Careers program trains quality teachers

In 1998, Child Care Resources created the Careers Program to help low-income women gain employment in the child care field. Learn more…

It now does a great job of helping refuge and immigrant women and men move towards economic independence and it increases the diversity and quality of child care in King County.

The Careers Program, funded through the generosity of United Way, is a comprehensive approach to ensure long-term success with trainings, mentoring, case management, internships and employment assistance. Low-income, refugee and immigrant women participate in culturally competent classes taught in multiple languages. Each year three cohorts of 15 to 30 women go through the twelve week program.  Currently, more than 50% of Careers graduates are employed in the early learning field!

Families of many cultures are seeking quality care for their young children, care which honor their culture and helps their children be prepared to succeed in school. Child Care Resources is proud of the Careers Program because it helps meet the need for diverse child care options in our diverse community.

Please Join the Effort and Donate Now

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CCR and City of Seattle Collaborate for Children!

In February 2013 the City of Seattle announced the creation of a new Early Learning Academy (ELA), an investment by the City to improve kindergarten readiness and long-term school success. The ELA will provide professional development for preschool teachers and caregivers to improve outcomes for all children.

The City’s Office for Education has collaborated with Child Care Resources and other early learning stakeholders, including early learning providers, the Washington State Department of Early Learning, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the University of Washington’s College of Education, in designing the ELA. As the agency contracted to implement the ELA, CCR launched the work in the fall of 2013 with an institute designed to communicate the ELA’s vision and approach to the early learning community.

The ELA uses a curriculum known as HighScope, an evidence-based, active learning model with a strong emphasis on adult/child interactions. Classroom activities are designed to build upon children’s natural curiosity and are matched to a child’s current and emerging abilities. 

The ELA HighScope Training series was launched on December 13th with two Cohorts; Preschool Curriculum Course, 20 participants (teacher certification) and Trainer of Trainers, 16 participants (trainer certification).  Participants will attend up to 1 week of training a month through June of 2014.  Following completion of the training and all required coursework participants can apply for Certification at which point they will participate in a site visit/observation to demonstrate implementation and thorough knowledge of the HighScope approach. 

Current participants include teachers, program supervisors, administrators and directors from the following Step Ahead and Cooperative Child Care Programs in Seattle:

Ø  Community Day School Association - Beacon Hill, Leschi and Madrona

Ø  Causey’s Learning Center – Van Asselt

Ø  Chinese Information Service Center

Ø  Creative Kids

Ø  Denise Louie – Beacon Hill

Ø  Northgate Early Learning Center

Ø  REWA

Ø  Seed of Life

Ø  Sound Child Care Solutions

Ø  South Shore

Ø  Tiny Tots

 

Using a consistent and proven curriculum, the ELA offers culturally relevant training to early learning teachers and to family, friend, and neighbor caregivers in Seattle. Depending on future funding, the ELA will also be offered to kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers as part of the City’s commitment to invest in a well-aligned educational continuum that provides access to high quality programs for children from pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade.

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What politicians really think about child care

Want to understand Seattle and King County candidates’ level of commitment to human services? Want to know where the candidates stand on social justice issues? The 2013 Seattle Human Services Coalition Candidate Questionnaire is now available online! Click here to read and compare candidates’ positions on issues of social justice and commitment to human services.

On a statewide level, the Washington State Legislature wrapped up its second special session in late June by passing a 2013-15 biennial budget that creates more opportunity for our state's youngest learners.

Some of the budget highlights:

  • Maintenance of support for Child Care Aware and for Family, Friend and Neighbor caregiver supports
  • Expansion of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), adding 1,700 children over the two years (only 350 children were funded in 2013-14). The average funding per slot will also be increased in 2014-15 from $6,812 to $7,500
  • A 2% increase in the child care subsidy reimbursement rate and an additional 2% enhancement for providers who are on Level 2 or above in Washington’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, Early Achievers
  • Expansion of home visiting services by $1 million
  • Maintenance of support for Reach Out and Read
  • Expansion of WaKIDS (Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills)

In addition, Senate Bill 5595 and House Bill 1723 (Early Start proposal) passed and have been signed by the governor. SB 5595 requires that the Department of Early Learning and the Department of Social and Health Services train staff in professionalism and demonstrate good customer service. It also forms a task force that will consider creation of a tiered subsidy reimbursement system as well as an early learning delivery system that integrates the many components of early learning.

HB 1723 intends to establish the Early Start program to provide a continuum of high-quality and accountable early learning opportunities for children in Washington from birth to age 5. 

Please contact your legislator and thank him or her for supporting early learning.

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Kids at the Heart of the 2014 Legislative Session

The Legislature is in session, and important early learning issues are on the table.

CCR belongs to the statewide Early Learning Action Alliance, a coalition of diverse non-profit organizations concerned about early learning.  The ELAA legislative Agenda advocates for important early learning issues like lengthening subsidy authorizations to 12 months, increasing the working connections subsidy rate, giving children in child welfare access to high quality child care.  See more 

You can make a difference -- 

Join the Child Care Aware Action Center

Find your legislative district and contact your legislators directly at www.leg.wa.gov and click on “Find Your Legislator” 

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Spring Family Child Care Conference --- June 7th

Save the Date for a Family Child Care focused professional development opportunity, and a glimpse into Health, Safety and Nutrition in Early Learning.

June 7, 2014

Spring Family Child Care Conference at Renton Technical College *New Location*

Come experience the day, including:

  • Keynote Speaker
  • STARS Credit
  • Continental breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • Vendors and Networking
  • Prize Drawings!

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Welcome to Child Care Resources

Since 1990, Child Care Resources has helped to build a strong early learning system for all children in King County. We work with families, caregivers and early learning professionals, and collaborate with community partners to ensure that every child has a great start.

We are a trusted resource for families seeking child care. Our team of experts is available by phone or email to help families explore their early learning options and to make informed choices about this important decision.

We partner with early learning professionals as they develop high-quality care. Through coaching and professional development, we help early learning teachers increase the quality of care available for all children.

We are a collaborator, advocate and data resource in our community, ensuring everyone understands the value of early learning and growing support for key policies that support quality early learning.

To meet or contact one of our wonderful staff, you can view our directory

My Family Needs Child Care I am an Early Learning Professional