January 12, 2021

New Child Care Collaborative Task Force Report Outlines Multiple Options for Strengthening WA’s Child Care System

Washington’s lawmakers have numerous options to help strengthen our state’s child care system, according to a new report by the Child Care Collaborative Task Force. The options include financial relief for child care providers, support for working parents and ways to offer health insurance to providers who do not have it.

Child care has always been crucial to Washington’s economy, and now, as the arrival of new vaccines allow us to begin to recover from the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic, it is more important than ever. Yet the child care system in Washington and across the country has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. Last year, up to 24% of licensed child care programs were closed. Currently, 14% of our licensed providers are closed, some of them permanently.

“This year, we have seen the child care industry demonstrate its value and resilience despite an inherently flawed model. Child care delivers a public good through, primarily, small businesses that cannot charge customers (working families) the price necessary to cover costs associated with the essential service provided. High-quality child care promotes healthy childhood development, lets parents go to work and helps employers retain talent and maintain productivity. Families, employers and our state’s economy recovery require a stable and multifaceted child care industry with options to meet families’ varying needs.” ~ Child Care Collaborative Task Force “2020 Child Care Policy Recommendations: Modeling the Cost of Quality, Improving the Working Connections Subsidy Program & Supporting Workforce Compensation and Development” report

You can read the Task Force report here.

January 11, 2021

Resources for Child Care Providers and Families – Supporting Each Other After the Attack on Our Capitol

The recent attack on America’s Capitol has shocked thousands, leaving us and our children with strong and difficult emotions. How can the important caregivers in children’s lives best talk about what happened and the emotions that have followed? We have cultivated this list of helpful resources and tips so we can safely navigate these very challenging times.

National Association for the Education of Young Children – multiple resources for supporting young children and families

Child Mind Institute – ways to talk with children about the violence at the Capitol

Teaching Tolerance – ways educators can support students after violence and disasters

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network – specific steps families can take to reduce the negative impact of violence in the Capitol on children

American Psychiatric Association – common reactions to trauma in adults and children and lists of supports for both

CNN – tips for conversations with children about the attack on the Capitol

Washington State Department of Health – list of hotlines and chatlines for mental health and suicide prevention

November 23, 2020

Child Care Aware of Washington Recognized by the Association of Washington Business

Child Care Aware of  Washington was recognized Nov. 19 by the Association of Washington Business as the 2020 recipient of the Washington Advance Award. The award recognizes a Washington state business or organization that has had a significant impact in their sector contributing to the advancement of their community and/or the statewide economy. The award was presented virtually during AWB’s Evening of Excellence online gala. This is the first time Child Care Aware of WA has been recognized by the business community.

While we are thrilled to have won this award, we acknowledge that the real heroes for the business community are the child care providers across our state who care for the children of working parents every day. During the pandemic, Washington’s child care providers have been deemed essential by Governor Inslee. Their crucial work makes it possible for working parents to work, so businesses can keep operating, and at the same time, they also are contributing to the development of our future workforce by providing important play-based early learning.

“All of us at Child Care Aware of Washington are deeply honored to have our contributions acknowledged by the Association of Washington Business. We appreciate AWB’s recognition of the important role quality child care plays in keeping our economy going, especially during these challenging times. We share this award with all of Washington’s child care providers whose work with children is keeping medical facilities, groceries, utilities and so much more available for all of us,” said Deeann Burtch Puffert, Chief Executive Officer of Child Care Aware of WA.

August 25, 2020

Washington’s Child Care Crisis Leaves Nearly 550,000 Children Without Child Care

TACOMA, WA – Aug. 25, 2020 – Thousands of children across Washington are unable to attend licensed child care because our state’s child care system cannot meet the needs of working families. Nearly 550,000 children under the age of 12 have no access to child care, despite the fact that 60 percent of children 0-12 in Washington live in homes where all adults work.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced our child care supply even further because some providers have reluctantly closed their doors due to financial difficulty with not having enough children to care for as some working parents are keeping their children home, fear of the virus or actual exposure to the virus. Since March, up to 24 percent of Washington’s licensed child care programs have closed. Currently, 18 percent of our state’s child care programs are closed and not serving children.

Now, as most school districts have moved to remote-learning only, parents are scrambling to create child care plans for their school-age children, but there are even fewer options than there were before COVID-19. For those families that do find child care for their school-age children, they will face the additional challenge of paying for child care during the hours their children would have typically been in school. This is a huge financial burden for middle class families. Child Care Aware of Washington is helping child care providers who want to care for school-age children full-time make necessary preparations, and our Family Center is helping families find child care options for school-age children near them.

“Today’s Child Care Collaborative Task Force report illustrates the depth of Washington’s child care crisis. The supply of quality, affordable child care has not met the needs of our working families for decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse as some child care programs have had to make the financial decision to close their doors,” said Deeann Burtch Puffert, chief executive officer for Child Care Aware of WA. “Everyone at Child Care Aware of WA is working to help keep programs that want to stay open, stay open, and connect families to child care near them.”

Nearly half of Washington’s licensed child care providers report they are at risk of closing permanently due to the devastating impacts of the pandemic. The loss of these high-quality programs would significantly hurt Washington’s economy because working parents cannot work when they do not have child care for their children.

Our state’s child care crisis has already cost employers $2.08 billion in direct costs in 2017, and $6.5 billion in direct and opportunity costs, according to the 2019 report, The Mounting Costs of Child Care, from the Washington State Department of Commerce and other member organizations of the state’s Child Care Collaborative Task Force.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has added stress and uncertainty to what the industry assessment revealed was already a fragile child care system,” said Child Care Collaborative Task Force tri-chair Ryan Pricco, director of policy and advocacy for Child Care Aware of WA. “Investments are needed to keep our child care system operating. Investments in the child care industry are investments in all other industries because child care supports all employers.”

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 providers integrate research-based, best practices into their programs. We track child care supply, demand and cost data statewide and in every county. We are committed to ensuring that each and every child in Washington, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, culture, primary language or economic status, has access to the quality care and early learning 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.

July 15, 2020

State Early Learning & Business Leaders Focus on Child Care Solutions

July 8, 2020 – The Association of Washington Business held an important webinar featuring state early learning and business leaders to discuss child care solutions during these times. Washington State First Lady Trudi Inslee joined Child Care Aware of Washington CEO Deeann Puffert and Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families Secretary Ross Hunter to focus on the importance of early learning and child care to our economy and on the ways COVID-19 has impacted the child care market in Washington.

Child care matters to employees who are parents, and businesses rely on working parents. Most children under the age of six in Washington live in homes where all adults work. Without child care, these employees cannot work. Plus, when young children attend quality child care, they experience great early learning during the crucial years from 0-5 when most brain development happens.

Employers can retain talent, protect their investment in employees who are parents and built long-term loyalty by:

  • Allowing for a great deal of work-schedule flexibility for employees with young children
  • Training supervisors to support employees with young children
  • Allowing employees who can work from home to do so
  • Contributing to employees’ Child Care Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Providing financial support to employees with children and/or to the child care programs that care for their children
  • Share our free child care referral information with families – 1-800-446-1114 https://childcareawarewa.org/families/
  • Using your influential voice to tell elected officials to prioritize funding for child care to boost economic recovery (less than 1% of WA’s operating budget is dedicated to child care)

To learn more or to view the webinar, visit AWB by clicking here.

June 5, 2020

Eradicating Racism is Long Overdue

We at Child Care Aware of Washington are outraged at the murder of George Floyd and denounce the actions of the Minneapolis police officers. We are angry that many peaceful protests against injustice have been marred by further police brutality and we condemn the continued use of violence on people of color.

Child Care Aware of Washington stands with families of color who face the long-lingering impacts of racism and police brutality, and each and every family who opposes white supremacy in all its forms. We remain committed to ensuring that all children and families, especially those who are furthest from opportunity because of systemized racism, have access to equitable, quality child care and early learning programs that shrink the opportunity gap and lead to families thriving economically.

Racism harms all children, mostly and inequitably, children of color. As an organization, we envision a world where children do not experience police brutality against black men as the norm. Institutional racism is unacceptable, has persisted for far too long and we must act. Child Care Aware of Washington pledges to examine our organization and our work and reflect on the ways we contribute to racism and the ways in which we must change. We commit to take action, share our plan with those we serve – families, child care providers, informal caregivers and our partners – and to be held accountable for our progress.

As a first step, we have posted resources for how families and providers can talk with their children about racism. We anticipate building a plan that connects people with community forums, makes space for race-equity conversations, offers advocacy activities and challenges the systems in which we operate. As we build our racial equity action framework we invite you to provide input, share community resources, share your perspectives and join us.

We thank each individual, organization and system who stands with us to say “No More,”, examines their biases and takes action against injustice. Children need our leadership, humility, compassion, honesty, courage and urgency now and always. Eradicating racism is long overdue.

¡Ya no podemos atrasar la erradicación del racismo!

Nosotros en Child Care Aware of Washington estamos indignados sobre el asesinato de George Floyd y denunciamos las acciones de los oficiales policiacos de Minneapolis. Estamos enfurecidos que tantas protestas pacíficas han sido estropeadas por brutalidad policiaca adicional y condenamos el uso continuo de la violencia en contra de gente de color.

Child Care Aware of Washington se alinea con las familias de color que enfrentan los impactos restantes del racismo y la brutalidad policiaca. También nos alineamos con cada familia que está en contra de todas formas de la supremacía de la raza blanca. Nosotros mantenemos nuestro compromiso que todos los niños y todas las familias, especialmente aquellos más lejos de oportunidades a causa del racismo sistemático, tengan acceso a cuidado infantil equitativo y de calidad. Es de suma importancia que los programas del aprendizaje a temprana edad disminuyan las barreras que impiden que los niños y las familias prosperen económicamente.

El racismo daña a todos los niños, especialmente a los niños afroamericanos, latinos, e indígenas. Desde nuestro punto de vista, anhelamos un mundo donde los niños no crezcan con la brutalidad policiaca en contra de la gente negra como lo típico. El racismo institucional es inaceptable y ha continuado por demasiado tiempo; debemos actuar. Child Care Aware of Washington se compromete a examinar nuestra organización y nuestro trabajo para reflejar en las maneras que contribuimos al racismo y cómo podemos eliminar esa contribución. Estamos dedicados a tomar acción, a compartir nuestro plan con aquellos que rendimos servicios – familias y todos los que proveen cuidado infantil y nuestros socios – para poder ser responsables en nuestros logros.

Como primeros pasos, hemos compartido recursos para ayudar a las familias y los proveedores hablar con los niños sobre el racismo. Apoyamos las conversaciones comunitarias y queremos crear oportunidades para conversar más sobre la equidad racial y coordinar actividades para abogacía. Los invitamos a contribuir a la creación de nuestra visión para la equidad racial en todas las áreas que participan en la educación a la temprana edad.

Queremos rendir agradecimiento a todos los individuales, las organizaciones, y los sistemas que se unen a nosotros a proclamar “no más” y en examinar sus prejuicios y tomar acción en contra de las injusticias. Los niños necesitan nuestro liderazgo, humildad, compasión, honestidad, valor, y urgencia, ahora y siempre. ¡Ya no podemos atrasar la erradicación del racismo!

Ciribtirka cunsuriyada waa waqti hore

Anaga oo ah ‘Child Care Aware of Washington’ waxaan ka xunahay dilkii George Floyd oo aan cambaareyneynaa ficilada saraakiisha booliiska Minneapolis. Waxaan ka xanaaqsanahay in mudaaharaadyo badan oo nabadeed oo looga soo horjeedey caddaalad darradu ay ku kaceen naxariisdarrooyin boolis oo dheeri ah waxaanna dhalleeceyneynaa sii wadida adeegsiga rabshadaha ee dadka midabka leh.

Ogeysiiska Daryeelka Ilmaha ee Washington wuxuu la taagan yahay qoysaska midabka leh ee wajahaya saameynta muddada dheer ee cunsuriyadda iyo naxariisdarrada booliiska, iyo qoys kasta oo ka soo horjeedaa sarreynta caddaanka nooc kasta ha noqotee. Waxaa naga go’an inaan hubinno in dhammaan carruurta iyo qoysaska, gaar ahaan kuwa sida ugu dhakhsaha badan uga fursad badan sababa la xiriira cunsuriyadda nidaamsan, ay u helaan helitaan caddaalad ah, daryeel carruureed oo tayo leh iyo barnaamijyada waxbarashada hore ee wiiqaya fursadda farqiga u horseedaya qoysaska inay dhaqaale ahaan ku kobcaan.

Midab-takoorku wuxuu waxyeelleeyaa carruurta oo dhan, badiyaa iyo sinnaan la’aanta, carruurta midabka leh. Urur ahaan, waxaan u aragnaa adduunyo carruurtu aysan la kulmin naxariisdarrada bilayska ee ka dhanka ah ragga madow sida caadiga ah. Midab-takoorka hay’addu waa mid aan la aqbali karin, muddo aad u dheerina waa inaanu tallaabo qaadnaa. Ogeysiiska Daryeelka Ilmaha ee Washington wuxuu ballan qaadayaa inuu baaro ururkeena iyo shaqadeena oo aan ka fekero qaababka aan ugu biirino cunsuriyadda iyo siyaabaha aan u baddali karno. Waxaa naga go’an in aan tallaabo qaadno, oo aan la wadaagno qorshayaasha kuwa aan u adeegno – qoysaska, daryeelayaasha carruurta, daryeel-bixiyeyaasha aan rasmiga ahayn iyo la-hawlgalayaashayada – oo lagula xisaabtamo horumarka aan sameyno.

Tallaabada koowaad, waxaan soo daabacnay ilo sida qoysaska iyo adeeg bixiyeyaasha ay carruurtooda ugala hadli karaan cunsuriyadda. Waxaan rajeyneynaa inaan dhisno qorshe isku xira dadka kulannada bulshada, oo u yeelno meel loogu talagalay wada-hadallada sinnaanta, wuxuu bixiyaa waxqabadyo u doodid iyo caqabado nidaamyada aan ku shaqeyno. Sida aan u dhisi karno qaab-dhismeedka waxqabadka sinnaanta waxaan kugula casuumeynaa inaad dhiibto ra’yi, wadaagto ilaha bulshada, wadaagto aragtidaada oo aad nagu soo biirto.

Waxaan u mahadcelineynaa shaqsi kasta, hay’ad iyo nidaam na garab taagan inuu dhaho “Maya More”, wuxuu baaraa eexyadooda wuxuuna tilaabo ka qaadayaa cadaalad darida. Carruurtu waxay u baahan yihiin hoggaankeena, is-hoosaysiinta, naxariis, daacadnimada, geesinimada iyo deg-degga hadda iyo had iyo goorba. Ciribtirka cunsuriyada waa waqti hore.

March 13, 2020

COVID-19 – What Can Child Care Providers Do?

The COVID-19 situation is changing daily. Child Care Aware of Washington is here to support you and the children and families you serve.

K-12 school and workplace closures are impacting children, families and providers. Our Family Center is tracking both provider closures and openings so we can provide accurate referrals to families seeking care. Call 1-800-446-1114 if:

  • Your child care facility closes.
  • Your child care facility has openings. You will be asked about the age(s) you can serve and whether you take Working Connections Child Care subsidy.

Our Family Center is fully staffed and operational. We are ready to assist you and any families that call us seeking care.

Providing school-age child care because many K-12 school districts have moved to remote learning? We can help. Check out our resources for caring for school-age children.

Here are some good resources and potential financial supports that can help child care small businesses.


Washington State Department of Health Updated Guidance for Child Care

Washington State Department of Health Behavioral Health Toolbox for Families

Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families Fall child care grants

Washington State Unemployment Benefits and Paid Leave – COVID-19 benefits for businesses and employees

Layoff assistance – Employment Security Department

Unemployment benefits for employees and relief of benefit charges for employers – additional supports for small businesses

Washington Health Plan Finder – New health insurance available for those without it during a special COVID-19 open enrollment period through Sept. 30, 2020

COVID-19 Paid Family and Medical Leave – Employment Security Department

Washington Business Relief During COVID-19 Pandemic – Washington State Department of Revenue

Grants for small businesses – Washington State Department of Commerce

Possible deferred business taxes and waivers of penalties for businesses affected by COVID-19

Governor’s list of business resources for businesses affected by COVID-19

Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families – COVID-19 Updates – answers to questions regarding subsidy payments, ECEAP needs and more

Washington State Coronavirus Response – multiple state resources, links, information and more

Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction – information about K-12 school closures

Washington Governor Inslee’s Office – latest updates, resources and information regarding disease spread, official instructions and closures

COVID-19 Impacts on Insurance – Office of the Insurance Commissioner

COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants – OneAmerica

Business supports and resources – Association of Washington Business

Small, emergency cash payments to those not eligible for other programs – Department of Social and Health Services

Help for providing meals and snacks in child care during COVID-19 – Department of Health and Department of Children, Youth, and Families – English, Spanish, Somali


Seattle King County Public Health – Recommendations and Implications for K-12 Schools and Child Care


Interim Guidance for Child Care Programs – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Guía interina para los administradores de programas de cuidados infantiles – Centros para el control y la prevención de enfermedades

American Academy of Pediatrics Guidance on operating child care programs during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans – U.S. Small Business Administration

Paycheck Protection Program – U.S. Small Business Administration

New“Second Draw” Paycheck Protection Program

Low-interest loans for small businesses – U.S. Small Business Administration

Guide and checklist for applying for Small Business Administration loans – U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Business for All grants – partnership with Verizon

COVID-19 Recovery Fund – Verizon and Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Coronavirus Tax Relief – Internal Revenue Service

Advice for Nonprofits – Nonprofit Quarterly

How to Talk to Children About COVID-19

Free downloadable/printable book for young children about seeing people wearing face masks

Free downloadable/printable book for young children about wearing face masks


PBS Kids

Information About Racial Disparities and COVID-19

Seattle King County Public Health Data

January 9, 2020

Focus on Child Care as an Economic Necessity

CCA of WA’s new CEO Deeann Puffert recently participated in a Puget Sound Business Journal Thought Leader conversation in Seattle about the importance of child care to our economy. The event also featured former state representative Kristine Reeves (who championed child care in the state legislature and is now running for Congress in the 10th District), Amy Anderson, government affairs director at the Association of Washington Business, and Jasmine Donovan, president of Dick’s Drive-In.

Thought Leader Forums are designed to increase awareness of important business and economic issues. The child care event focused on Washington’s child care crisis and on ways to solve it. It is clear that Washington’s employers have a key role to play in helping increase the supply of licensed child care, and they are beginning to realize how the child care crisis is directly impacting their bottom lines. We extend our thanks to the Puget Sound Business Journal for focusing on this important economic issue.

Washington employers interested in making a difference for their employees who are parents, and for their next generation of employees, can visit the Employers section of our website here https://childcareawarewa.org/employers/ for ideas on what to do.

October 23, 2019

Washington State On Top 10 List of Least Affordable Child Care – Again

TACOMA, WA – Oct. 23, 2019 – Washington has some of the least affordable child care in the country, ranking among the top 10 states for least affordable child care when median costs are compared to median incomes. Our state ranks as the second least affordable for care of an infant in a family home child care program, and sixth least affordable for infant care in a center. Washington ranks as the fifth least affordable state for child care for a toddler in a family home program and ninth for that care in a center. For care of a four-year-old, Washington ranks as the seventh least affordable for family home care and 10th least affordable for that care in a center. The rankings come from the newly released report “The U.S. and the High Price of Child Care, an Examination of a Broken System” from Child Care Aware of America.

This is the seventh straight year Washington has ranked on the top 10 list of states with the least affordable child care. Parents across Washington are struggling to afford child care when they can find it. A year of child care often costs more than a year’s tuition at public colleges, and some areas of the state have experienced significant reductions in licensed child care capacity. Most areas have scarce capacity for infant and toddler care. Waitlists of a year or more are common.

“We have not invested in our child care system at a level sufficient to meet demand. Clearly more investment is needed at the state and federal levels, and from the business community, which directly benefits from child care every day when working parents show up for work on time and ready to be productive,” said Ryan Pricco, director of policy and advocacy at Child Care Aware of Washington.

Washington’s child care crisis is costing businesses more than $2 billion each year in employee turnover and missed work due to child care issues, according to a new report from the Child Care Collaborative Task Force, “The Mounting Costs of Child Care.” It found the total cost to our state’s economy exceeds $6.5 billion annually. With the unemployment rate at a historical low, employers are increasingly operating with fewer employees than they need. Increased access to high-quality, affordable child care would allow more parents to enter and remain in the workforce, while simultaneously reducing some of the overall economic impact found in the Mounting Costs of Child Care report. It also would provide crucial early learning to children ages 0-5, the time when 90 percent of their brains develop.

Overall, the cost of child care compared to family income has risen during the past eight years. Since 2011, median household income has increased 18 percent, while median child care rates have increased between 19-22 percent for center-based care and 14-221 percent for family child care.2  Meanwhile the reimbursement rates the state pays to providers who accept children whose families use child care subsidies have not kept pace. Despite recent increases in these rates, the cost to provide quality child care continues to exceed the reimbursements providers receive for providing care for our most vulnerable children and families. For this reason, many providers accept only a few children at a time on subsidy, or none at all. This further restricts access to high-quality child care for low-income families.

As child care costs rise, the portion of income required to cover costs increases as well, leaving some families, especially single-parent families, facing tough choices about which bills to pay each month. This year, the median cost of caring for an infant in a child care center consumed a daunting 52% of the state median income for a single-parent family, up one percent from last year. This care consumes 15.3% of the median income for a married couple. It is not uncommon for child care to be the second most expensive monthly bill for young families, surpassed only by rent/mortgage costs.

Solving Washington’s child care crisis requires increased public, business and philanthropic investment in child care and early learning programs. Child Care Aware of Washington advocates for increased investment, both public and private, and for increased access to high-quality care. We work with providers to improve child care quality and help providers save time and money on the business side of their programs with our online business services portal Washington Child Care Business Edge.

Child Care Aware of Washington tracks child care supply, demand and costs statewide and in every county. Our data reports are available here: https://childcareawarewa.org/advocacy/#data.

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 providers integrate research-based, best practices into their programs. We are committed to ensuring that each and every child in Washington, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, culture, primary language or economic status, has access to the quality care and early learning 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.


  1. Child Care Aware of Washington’s 2018 Data Report: Trends, Child Care Supply, Cost of Care & Demand for Referrals
  2. Washington State Office of Financial Management. Median Household Income, 2017 Projected. https://www.ofm.wa.gov/washington-data-research/economy-and-labor-force/median-household-income-estimates. March 2018

October 22, 2019

Deeann Burtch Puffert named to lead Child Care Aware of Washington

October 22, 2019 – The Board of Trustees for Child Care Aware of Washington welcomes Deeann Burtch Puffert as Chief Executive Officer to lead the non-profit organization, in concert with its six regional partners, as it expands its services and advocacy for families throughout Washington and its commitment to preparing children for success in school and in life.

Puffert spent her entire professional career working on behalf of children, youth, families and providers in the not-for-profit sector.   For the past 34 years, she focused on the issue of early childhood education and has tackled many aspects of the challenges of affordability, accessibility, and quality by addressing workforce, economic and equity system improvements with a myriad of funders, national, state and community partners.

“Deeann’s many years of hands on experience in the early childhood education system, from stepping into a classroom to directing a resource organization, makes her the perfect person to take on the mantle of organizational leadership for CCA,” said Lois Martin, CCA WA Board of Trustees Co-Chair and Director of Community Day Center for Children, Seattle. “She drives organizational performance that results in outcomes for children.”

Puffert worked inside the CCA WA system for 30 years with the King & Pierce Counties regional partner, Child Care Resources (CCR). As CEO of CCR since 2009, Deeann led the organization’s development of a racial equity framework, services for children and families experiencing homelessness, the creation and expansion of Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups for children in informal care, and a team supporting child care providers in quality improvement efforts and professional development. Child Care Resources also operates the CCA WA Family Center which, last year, helped nearly 15,000 families throughout the state find early childhood education referrals and resources.

“The Board of Trustees recognizes Deeann’s exceptional knowledge of the early learning system in our state and is eager for her to lead CCA WA to further address Washington’s child care crisis with our partners,” said David McRae, CCA WA Board of Trustees Co-Chair and Vice President, Banner Bank.

Prior to employment at Child Care Resources, Puffert worked as a Program Director responsible for the overall management and operation of four NAEYC-accredited centers that served approximately 180 families.

“I am excited to move from my work that has a regional perspective to working with CCA of WA staff to continue their fine work. I also look forward 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,” Puffert said.

Puffert joins Child Care Aware of Washington on December 2.