May 3, 2019

Child Care Provider Appreciation Day

Child Care Provider Appreciation Day is Friday, May 10. While it is important to share your appreciation for your provider every day, this is a special day for making sure child care providers everywhere feel appreciated for the important work they do.

There are many ways to thank your provider and show your appreciation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have your child make them a special card or a poster
  • Drop off breakfast or lunch
  • Give a gift card
  • Bring a special treat
  • Write a nice note

Child care providers work very long days, and often are not compensated well. For most, child care truly is a labor of love. So please make sure to let your provider know how much you appreciate all they do for your child and family. After all, what would you do without them?

#ProviderAppreciationDay

May 2, 2019

Child Care Aware of Washington Play and Learn Group Featured on NW News Network

We are thrilled to have one of our play and learn groups featured in this excellent article from Northwest News Network. Child Care Aware of Washington’s Early Connections Play and Learn group is where young children can experience playing with peers and early learning while their families learn about child development and local resources. Read, or listen to, more here:

https://www.nwnewsnetwork.org/post/free-play-space-yakima-helps-families-crisis-relax-settle-smile?fbclid=IwAR2qlYWfMp-Xtbxuw1IVHfJfS8hpIRqioBB0DNX0z10YkE_41Z0QdoQqEls

May 1, 2019

Modest Gains for Child Care & Early Learning in the 2019 Legislative Session

Child care and early learning advocates and stakeholders saw modest gains this past legislative session that ended April 28. Lawmakers passed and funded several small steps forward that provide some stability for the child care market, but there is more to do to solve the child care crisis.

The new budget provides funding for:

  • Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) rates to be increased to the 55th percentile for Early Achievers Level 3 participants
  • Investment of $6 million into additional supports and professional development for Early Achievers programs
  • 1,100 new ECEAP (state-funded preschool) slots
  • An expansion of Family, Friend and Neighbor play and learn groups
  • The Early Achievers enhancements (HB 1391) and WA CAN Act (HB 1344) bills
  • The addition of 1,200 home visiting slots to increase access to high-quality early learning for families
  • $28.5 million to match private and other public funding to buy, build or modernize facilities to add capacity for early learning programs, including ECEAP and programs participating in Early Achievers

While Child Care Aware of Washington applauds these gains and thanks the legislature for this progress, we did not see significant progress in raising the wages of child care professionals nor in the homeless grace period extension, which would have provided up to 12 months of free licensed child care for young children experiencing homelessness. We will focus on these important goals this interim as we prepare for the next legislative session.

Thank you to all of our partners and to all of the providers and parents who advocated for expanded access to high-quality child care and early learning programs. Your voices made a positive difference for children and families this session.