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 Vision

All Washington children experience high quality, racially equitable early care and education opportunities that empower them to dream and flourish.

Our Mission

Child Care Aware of Washington is our state’s most thorough and accessible source of information and support in early care and education (birth to 12 years).

We work alongside families, child care providers, caregivers, and communities to meet the diverse and specialized learning needs of every child in our state. We use data and story to influence policy makers, system leaders and our partners to ensure every child in Washington has equitable access to quality learning experiences.

Our Strategic Plan and Commitment to Racial Equity

We’ve adopted a Strategic Plan for 2021 to 2024! Read about our renewed commitments and goals here.

Child Care Aware of Washington stands with and supports all families of color who encounter the long‐lingering impacts of racism. Read our Racial Equity Policy here.

Child Care Aware de Washington defiende y apoya a todas las familias de color que se enfrentan a los persistentes impactos del racismo. Lea nuestra Política de Equidad Racial aquí.

Child Care Aware of Washington waxay u taagan tahay taageerooyinka dhammaan qoysaska midabka ee la kulma saamaynta sii muddo dheeraata ee isir nacaybka. Akhri Xeerkayaga Sinaanta Isirka.

Child Care Aware of Washington maatiiwwan bifaan addaa kan rakkoon sanyummaa yeroo dheeraadhaaf miidhamaa turan ni gargaara. Imaammata Qixxummaa Sanyummaa keenya asitti ilaalaa.

Организация Child Care Aware of Washington поддерживает все семьи не белой расы, которые сталкиваются с длительными последствиями расизма, и выступает на их стороне. Ознакомиться с нашей Политикой расового равенства можно здесь.



Staff and Board of Trustees

Meet our trustees and staff

Child Care Aware of Washington has 25 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.

Angela Griffin, President
CEO, Byrd Barr Place
Seattle, WA
Jennifer Chang Hetterly, Vice President
Policy, Advocacy & Communications Consultant
Palo Alto, CA/Tacoma, WA
Laura Wells, Secretary
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids – Retired
Seattle, WA
Lois Martin, Treasurer
Director, Community Day Center for Children
Seattle, WA
Phoebe Sade
Chief Executive Officer, BrightSpark Early Learning
Seattle, WA
Lorna Spear, Ph.D.
Spokane Public Schools – Retired
Spokane, WA

LaKia Morrison
Human Resources Consultant, Microsoft
Bothell, WA

Michelle Rahl-Lewis
Assistant Director of Early Learning, Tacoma School District
Tacoma, WA
Jodi Wall
Executive Director, Early Care and Education ESD 112
Vancouver, WA
Suzanne Suyama
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Community Minded Enterprises
Spokane, WA
Heather A. Brown
Director of Special Services, Everett Public Schools
Shoreline, WA
Dennis Sisco-Taylor
Assistant Professor, School of Psychology Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA

Deeann Burtch Puffert
Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Deeann guides strategic vision for the statewide CCA WA system by working collaboratively with our six regional Child Care Aware of Washington regions and a multitude of early learning and community partners. Having spent 30 years in leadership with Child Care Resources/ CCA of King and Pierce Counties, Deeann is committed to growing and developing new relationships and partnerships that will continue to move child care and informal caregiving into full partnership within the early learning landscape.

Cameron Joy-Kurtz
Executive Assistant to the CEO

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 Executive Assistant, Cameron supports the CEO, acts as liaison to staff and key partners in Tacoma and around the state, and prospects and writes grants. Cameron studied at the University of Glasgow in Scotland before graduating from the University of Colorado.

Allison Cerny
Project Manager 

Allison started her professional career working with children as she completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon. After graduating, she continued her career path in a variety of service-based programs, performing multiple roles at each organization, including direct service, coordinating volunteers, and operations. Most recently, she joined CCA of WA as a Project Manager for special projects. In her spare time, Allison enjoys international travel, hiking, snowshoeing, cooking, and gardening.

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.

Leah Irwin
Program Manager of Quality Initiatives

Leah 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.

Michael Snow
Program Manager of Early Learning

Michael joined CCA of WA in November 2022, after years serving as a coach at CCA of the Olympic Peninsula/Child Care Action Council. Prior to his Coach role, he was an Early Childhood Special Education Program Specialist at OSPI and held several roles at Lewis County Head Start in Centralia. Michael is Contingent Faculty in Education and Early Education at Saint Martin’s University where he also mentors future teachers. He is a WSU graduate and earned his MEd at Saint Martin’s.

Patricia Coss-Maxwell
Program Manager of Professional Development

Patty joined the CCA of WA team in 2022. She coordinates training and supports for Coach and RBPD Leads, leads planning for the Elevate Early Learning Conference, and oversees LMS implementation and support. Patty was formerly an Early Achievers Coach at CCA of King & Pierce Counties, a child care provider, a CCA of WA Scholar, and is a Mentor and Adjunct Instructor at North Seattle College (NSC).

Patty has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a Certificate in Adult Education for College Institution from Eastern WA University and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education from North Seattle College. Patty is passionate about early childhood education, math, language, animals, and football (go Steelers!). In her free time, she likes to play with her puppy, Frida.

April Ferguson
Program Engagement Specialist

April has worked in Early Childhood Education for 6 years. She has worked as a center director, preschool teacher, and kindergarten teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and is currently working towards a bachelor’s in Business Management. She is extremely passionate about ensuring that young children have strong foundations for life through high quality learning opportunities. In her off time, she homeschools her kids and enjoys family time.

Maddie Schultz
Program Support Assistant

Maddie is the newest member of the Early Learning Program Team as the Program Support Assistant. She assists the team with various activities that support Early Learning. Maddie has worked in childcare since 2014 and has worked as an infant/toddler teacher, Pre-Kindergarten teacher, and center Assistant Director. She holds a General Transfer AA and hopes to move on to pursue her BA and in Human Services and ECE. Maddie also holds a state certificate in Early Childhood Education along with a specialization in Family Childcare. Maddie is most passionate about helping others and creating safe, nurturing environments for children and families. Maddie enjoys spending time with her two daughters, baking, party planning, gardening, and just having quality time with family.

Meka Riggins
Director of Workforce Development

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.

Carol Jack 
Scholarships Program Manager

Carol joined the CCA of WA team in November 2022 as  Scholarships Program Manager. She is passionate about utilizing team collaboration to provide equitable support for students pursuing higher education. Carol is a graduate of Capella University with a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management. She joins us from her role as a Student Success Coach at Pierce College, where she provided career and academic guidance and support for active-duty military service members, veterans, and Running Start students.

Skyler Smith
Scholarships Coordinator

Skyler joined Child Care Aware of Washington in April 2022 and works with her colleagues to support scholars in their academic goals through CCA of WA’s available scholarships. She believes strongly in encouraging diversity and inclusion, having  supported non-traditional students in previous positions and appreciated the unique perspectives that students bring to the field. Skyler holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Central Washington University.

Carmen Parra
Scholarships Coordinator

Carmen joined Child Care Aware of Washington in September 2023 as a Scholarship Coordinator with a background in supporting local low-income students transitioning into higher education. Carmen is a graduate of the University of Washington-Tacoma with a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Urban Development. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and painting.


Michel Nelson
Director of Family & 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.

Alex Hanel
Mobilization Manager

Alex joined Child Care Aware of Washington in 2020 and is responsible for coordinating mobilization activities within the CCA of WA system. Working with CCA of WA’s regional partners, he supports the recruitment, training and coordination of local child care advocates, and works to enhance and expand advocacy efforts on behalf of the child care industry statewide. Alex brings experience in communications with nonprofit childhood development programs, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies from Saint Louis University.

Gracie Martinez
Family Services Program Manager

Gracie Martinez joined the CCA of WA team in 2022. Gracie manages the Family Call Center, Family, Friend, and Neighbor Play & Learn statewide system, and the Homeless Navigation program. She has a mix of experience working for families in early learning environments, systems work as a non-profit consultant, and advocacy through her many board and committee positions for early learning associations. Gracie holds a Master of Public Administration from the Evans School -University of WA. In her free time, Gracie enjoys spending time with her family, cooking delicious meals, and collecting books to grow her home library.

Rosie Alfaro-Toledo
Communications Project Manager

Rosie joined Child Care of Aware of Washington in November 2021 with a background in communications, graphic design, development, community organizing, and finance. She attends Evergreen State College, where she is majoring in Visual Sociology and Early Childhood Education. When not working or in school, Rosie enjoys spending time with her family, re-connecting with her indigenous roots, and painting.

Sarah Kelley
Director of Data and Evaluation

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 the 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.

Kathryn Arthur
Database Administrator and Reporting Specialist

Kathryn recently joined Child Care of Aware of Washington in May of 2020 after supporting child care providers as an Early Achiever’s Coach for over 4 years. She is continuing her work in early learning as a member of the data team and is excited to utilize data to support continuous quality improvement. Kathryn has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with experience in research and data. When not working, Kathryn enjoys spending time in the barn with the animals and road trips to Alberta and Montana.

Joanna Cobb
Business & Data Analyst

Joanna joined Child Care Aware of Washington in 2022 as a member of the data team, reporting on and analyzing data outcomes in support of CCA of WA programs and partners. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in public policy, with experience in database management and non-profit program evaluation.

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.

Wysteria Oliver
Contracts and Grants Manager

Wysteria manages our organization’s contracts with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, regional partners, and our growing portfolio of philanthropic and private grant award contracts. She works with network and region leaders to ensure that expectations and deliverables are met and that financial resources are fully and properly expended. Most recently, Wysteria was Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist with the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning and navigated a complex system of contracts, budgets, and partners.

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 joined Child Care Aware of Washington in 2018, 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.

Janet Fraatz
Director of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Janet joined the CCA WA team in March 2020 to launch the implementation of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation services here in Washington. She holds a MS in Child Development and Family Studies, a MA and CAGS in Mental Health Counseling, and is a graduate of the Harris Institute certificate program in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. Janet has over 25 years’ experience in service to children and families, including her work in program management, staff supervision, and early childhood mental health consultation with Smart Support, Arizona’s statewide IECMHC program. In addition to her work in the IECMHC field, Janet has experience in Head Start/Early Head Start program management, public and independent elementary school counseling and a range of early care and education direct service and quality improvement efforts.

Celeste Farmer
Supervisor of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Celeste joined the CCA WA team in September of 2021 as the Program Supervisor for the Holding Hope Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program. Celeste holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in California and Washington. Celeste became passionate about IECMHC when she began working as a Holding Hope Mental Health Consultant in the Olympic Peninsula in Spring of 2020. Along with her experiences as a Mental Health Consultant Celeste has experience as an Assistant Director, Wraparound Clinician, and Dean of Students. Celeste brings over 7 years of experience supervising staff and overseeing programs with a strengths-based approach.

Elena Carrasco
Statewide Bi-lingual Spanish Holding Hope Mental Health Consultant

Elena joined the CCA WA team in March of 2022 as the CCA Statewide Bi-lingual Spanish Holding Hope Mental Health Consultant.  Elena has over 16 years of experience in childhood services, Early Intervention, parent support and advocacy, Special Education, and program management. She has worked in inclusive classrooms supporting children with varying abilities and their families. She is committed to serving children, families, and providers in reaching their goals.



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.

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. You can view a map of our regions with contact information here, or click on a region below.

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

2001 N. Division St, Ste. 130 Spokane, WA 99207

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

Brightspark - King County

555 S. Renton Village Place, Suite 280 Renton, WA 98057


Counties Served:

  • King

Brightspark - 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

1201 Cornwall Avenue, Suite 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:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.