About Us

Child Care Aware of Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every child in Washington has access to high-quality child care and early learning programs. Created by state statute in 1986 and incorporated in 1989, it is the only statewide child care resource and referral program in Washington.

Our Mission

Child Care Aware of Washington provides thorough and independent information and support:

  • For families seeking quality child care
  • For child care programs seeking to improve quality and
  • For effective policymaking

Our Vision

Every family in Washington has access to high-quality early learning choices for their children, and every child care program has the resources and support needed to help prepare children for success in life.


Staff and Board of Trustees

Meet our trustees and staff

Child Care Aware of Washington has 22 staff members in its Tacoma-based headquarters and contracted field staff throughout Washington with its regional partners. The nonprofit organization is overseen by a volunteer board of trustees who represent key stakeholders throughout the state.

Board of Trustees

David McRae, Board Co-Chair
Vice President, Banner Bank Seattle
Lois Martin, Board Co-Chair
Director, Community Day Center for Children
Lee Williams, Board Vice Chair
Executive Director, Community-Minded Enterprises
Vincent Alfonso, Treasurer
Dean, School of Education, Gonzaga University
Lorna Spear, Ph.D.
Director of Early Learning and Intervention Services, Spokane Public
Schools – Retired
Dan Voelpel
Executive Director of Communications, Tacoma Public Schools

Karma Hugo

Director of Early Learning, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
(OSPI) Olympia
Wilanne Olilla-Perry
Quality Child Care Program Manager, Opportunity Council

Elizabeth Swanson
Interim Executive Director

Elizabeth joined Child Care Aware of Washington in April 2019. She brings nearly 30 years of nonprofit experience and will serve during the transition as the organization identifies a new Chief Executive Director following the retirement of former CEO Robin Lester.

Liz has served major universities, public and private schools, social service agencies, community organizations and more. She also is an active volunteer and has served in organizations including the Rotary Club of Bellevue, Eastside Baby Corner and the Moyer Foundation. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and is a graduate of Leadership Eastside. Liz currently is a senior associate with the Valtas Group.

Tulay Crosbie
Executive Assistant

Tulay has 17 years of executive assistant experience interacting with wide variety of chief executive officers, directors and board executives. She completed two years of business administration studies at the Aegean University in Turkey and speaks English, Turkish and some German. She currently is taking Spanish at the University of Washington. She is very passionate about her community and has volunteered with several organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the Tacoma Humane Society.

Sandy Maldonado
Director of Early Learning

Sandy has worked with children and families for 20 years. Teaching in infant programs, preschool, school age care, and providing coaching and consultation for QRIS systems. She’s worked in private child care, state-funded and federally-funded programs. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services Management and Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College. Most recently she has joined the CCA of WA’s Program Management team for Early Achievers, Washington’s quality rating and improvement system. Sandy is passionate about securing equitable high-quality early learning opportunities for families, and ensuring all educators have opportunities for culturally responsive and relevant professional development.

Karin Anderson
Senior Manager of Early Learning

Karin has 27 years of experience working in the early learning field, including family child care, early intervention services and consultation services to early learning professionals. Prior to her current role, she supported Child Care Aware’s mission at the regional level as an Early Achievers regional lead. Karin is passionate about ensuring kindergarten readiness for all children, and supporting the dedicated regional staff who work to achieve this mission.

Marianna Ross
Program Manager – Professional Development

Marianna has worked with children for more than 10 years, teaching Pre-K, First grade and Title I. She also worked as a training and curriculum specialist with the Army Child Development Centers at Fort Bliss, TX and Fort Meade, MD. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human communication from Southern Oregon University and master’s in teaching from George Fox University.

Leah Irwin
Program Manager – Quality Improvement

Leah just joined the CCA of WA team in January 2019. She has 20 years of early learning and child development professional experience. She has experience in child care, preschool teaching, Child Protective Services, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), ECE university teaching, and Head Start/Early Head Start management. She is in the process of becoming a Program for Infant and Toddler Care (PITC) certified trainer and is experienced in delivering trainings to adult learners. Leah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Developmental Psychology from Eastern Washington University, and a Master of Science degree in Family and Child Studies from Miami University of Ohio. She is passionate about high quality child care and early learning for all of our State’s children, with a particular passion for our most vulnerable infants and toddlers. Leah spends her spare time with her husband, two daughters, many family pets, and doing crafting, gardening, and most recently, horse activities.

Christa Murray
Program Manager – Professional Development

Christa started at Child Care Aware of Washington as a scholarships coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human services and a master’s in adult and higher education, both from Western Washington University. This has given her a strong background in both nonprofit and adult training practices. She and her husband recently became licensed foster parents; Christa is using her knowledge of early childhood education to provide the best support for the children in her care. Check out Christa’s article on foster children in child care published on the NAEYC blog.

Ashley Stillmaker
Program Support Assistant

Ashley came to Child Care Aware of Washington in September 2016. She has previous experience as a Pre-K educator and recently worked with Comprehensive Life Resources, a nonprofit organization for mental health, primarily in the children’s facility. Ashley studied at Tacoma Community College where she received her associate degree in elementary education and is currently working toward her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Ashworth University.

Meka Riggins
Program Manager

A strong believer in the power of higher education, Meka is responsible for managing our scholarship program. Her work directly touches the lives of every scholar we serve by ensuring the program runs smoothly and efficiently for everyone. She joined Child Care Aware of Washington the fall of 2011. Prior to that Meka was the development and scholarship coordinator at Tacoma Community College.

Christine Zumwalt
Scholarships Coordinator

Christine has been administering scholarships since 2008 and joined the Child Care Aware of Washington Scholarships’ team in 2015. She enjoys working in a position that helps people of all ages have access to a quality education. Christine previously worked at the Seattle Central College Foundation and the Institute of International Education. She holds bachelor’s degrees in communication and Spanish from Washington State University and a Master of Education from the University of Houston.

Ivonne Pereira
Scholarships Coordinator

Ivonne joined Child Care Aware of Washington in January 2017. She has previous experience working in the fields of education, social work and advocacy with refugee and immigrant children and adults from various cultural backgrounds. She believes in empowering those who need it most, as it is her belief every person deserves the opportunity to flourish. Ivonne is bilingual in English and Spanish and has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of North Texas.

Ryan Pricco
Director of Policy and Advocacy

Ryan coordinates all advocacy efforts for Child Care Aware of Washington and is an effective voice in Olympia for children, families and caregivers during the state legislative session. When the Legislature is not in session Ryan focuses on grassroots mobilization, system messaging, representing us at key meetings with state-level partners, staffing the board of trustees’ meetings, and assisting the executive director. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington.

Michel Nelson
Director of Community Engagement

Michel joined Child Care Aware of Washington in the fall of 2016 in a new position to expand support for child care and early learning from businesses and diverse community partners. In addition, Michel coordinates Child Care Aware of Washington’s Family Center with the organization’s regional staff. With a background in marketing, membership and communications, she has led efforts in the nonprofit and public sectors that resulted in innovative partnerships and statewide public awareness campaigns. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Washington State University.

Marcia Jacobs
Communication and Marketing Manager

Marcia coordinates Child Care Aware of Washington’s communication and marketing efforts as well as managing our website. She brings to the work a wide range of expertise gleaned from her background as a journalist, as well as her community service experience with organizations such as The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She earned her bachelor’s degree in American studies, with a minor in journalism, from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Cameron Joy-Kurtz
Engagement Specialist

Cameron joined Child Care Aware of Washington in May 2014. Cameron believes that access to high-quality child care has a multi-generational impact on our communities and our economy. As engagement specialist, Cameron enjoys developing innovative outreach strategies to cultivate partnerships between the private, public and nonprofit sectors to improve child care services for Washington’s children. Cameron studied at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and completed his bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Colorado.

Karen Sampson
Director of Data and Evaluation

Karen leads the organization’s efforts to collect and analyze meaningful information about our work, child care providers, and the families we serve. This information supports the organization and local regions in managing our work and demonstrating our impact on child care providers, quality of care and children in Washington. Karen worked previously as an analyst in the Washington Governor’s Office, where she helped state agencies measure their performance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Wake Forest University and a master’s in policy studies from the University of Washington.

Sarah Kelley
Data and Program Evaluation Analyst

Sarah is passionate about increasing quality, access and professionalism in early childhood education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human development, early childhood education and care from Washington State University and a master’s degree in policy studies from University of Washington. She has experience in resource and referral, family advocacy and teaching in Head Start/ECEAP and child care centers. In her graduate research she focused on early learning quality and child outcomes.

Jonathan Farris
IT Systems and Database Administrator

After joining the team in August 2017, Jonathan immediately began preparations to move Child Care Aware of Washington’s entire IT infrastructure down the street to a new building. He suffers from a mild case of perfectionism; highlighted by occasional episodes of over-analyzing everything! He is an incurable problem-solver. Jonathan is passionate about supporting and enabling the mission to improve children’s lives and future potential. He is a recent graduate of the University of Washington’s Masters of Cybersecurity Leadership program, holds multiple industry certifications and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Alan Strand
Director of Finance and Operations

Alan supports Child Care Aware of Washington’s mission by making sure finance and accounting tasks happen smoothly. He has more than 15 years of accounting, finance and business management experience with nonprofit organizations in Washington and California. His extensive experience in nonprofit accounting, coupled with an ability to communicate affably and effectively about the topic, led to his role at the University of Washington, Tacoma, as faculty in their Nonprofit Management Certificate program.

Colette Adams
Contract and Finance Manager

Colette has been with Child Care Aware of Washington since September 2005. She works closely with our six regional programs and other subcontractors and vendors to manage, oversee and monitor all contracts. She also assists with internal accounting and finance functions. Previously she was the scholarship counselor for the Washington Scholarships for Child Care Professionals program. With more than 17 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Colette has a keen eye for detail, is a problem solver and enjoys the daily challenges of this position. She recently completed a Contract Design & Management Certificate program through the University of Washington.

Nannette Ward
Finance Supervisor

Nannette supports the overall accounting process of Child Care Aware of Washington. She previously worked for the University of Washington (Seattle and Tacoma). She is currently working to earn her bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Art University. Nannette thrives on building positive changes in the lives of children and parents alike, and since becoming a part of CCA, has helped foster exciting interactions with staff and community partners.

Tiffany Khanphongphane
Office Coordinator

Tiffany recently joined Child Care Aware of Washington, bringing with her seven years of office coordinator experience. She is always looking for ways to make improvements and provide great customer service. Tiffany studied at Renton Technical College where she received her Accounting Clerk Degree.


Annual report, financials and data

Annual Reports.

Financials. Child Care Aware of Washington (DBA the Washington State Child Care Resource & Referral Network) makes the following financial information available as required by state and federal laws:

Data. See extensive child care data reports on our Advocacy pages.



Help us make a difference for high-quality child care and early learning programs for every child in Washington State.

Child Care Aware of Washington is an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity among our staff. We strongly encourage people of color, people who speak a second language and people with disabilities to apply.

Child Care Aware of Washington is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer. 

New! Program Manager

Para la información en español sobre la posición de trabajo, por favor haga clic aquí.

Faahfaahin shaqo oo af soomaali ah, fadlan halkaan riix.


Our regional Child Care Aware of Washington offices are hiring!

Technical Assistance Specialist for Early Achievers – King & Pierce Counties

Division Director, Early Learning Services – Central Washington


Looking for a job in child care? Check Washington Child Care Business Jobs, part of Child Care Business Edge


Regional partners

Child Care Aware of Washington provides local services through six regional partners located across the state.

Child Care Aware of Central Washington

Catholic Family & Child Service

5301 Tieton Dr., Ste. C Yakima, WA 98908-3478


Counties Served:

  • Adams
  • Chelan
  • Douglas
  • Ferry
  • Okanogan
  • Grant
  • Kittitas
  • Yakima

Child Care Aware of Eastern Washington

Community-Minded Enterprises

3307 E. 55th Ave., Ste. B Spokane, WA 99223

800-446-2229 509-242-3405

Counties Served:

  • Asotin
  • Benton
  • Franklin
  • Columbia
  • Garfield
  • Lincoln
  • Pend Oreille
  • Spokane
  • Stevens
  • Walla Walls
  • Whitman

Child Care Aware of King and Pierce Counties

Child Care Resources - King County

1225 S. Weller, Ste. 300 Seattle, WA 98144


Counties Served:

  • King

Child Care Resources - Pierce County

1501 Pacific Ave., Ste. 305 Tacoma, WA 98402


Counties Served:

  • Pierce

Child Care Aware of the Olympic Peninsula

Child Care Action Council

3729 Griffin Lane SE Olympia, WA 98501


Counties Served:

  • Clallam
  • Grays Harbor
  • Jefferson
  • Kitsap
  • Mason
  • Thurston

Child Care Aware of Southwest Washington

Educational Service District 112

2500 NE 65th Ave. Vancouver, WA 98661


Counties Served:

  • Pacific
  • Lewis
  • Clark
  • Cowlitz
  • Klickitat
  • Skamania
  • Wahkiakum

Child Care Aware of Northwest Washington

Opportunity Council

1111 Cornwall Ave., Ste. 200 Bellingham, WA 98225


Counties Served:

  • Island
  • San Juan
  • Whatcom
  • Skagit
  • Snohomish


Contact us

Child Care Aware of Washington
1001 Pacific Avenue, Suite 400
Tacoma, WA 98402

General phone: 253-383-1735
Toll-free: 1-866-416-4321
TTY: 1-800-833-6388
Fax: 253-572-4140

To reach our Scholarships Program:

To reach our Family Center for child care referrals:

To email us a general question:

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