Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A personal note from Director Bette Hyde

The Department of Early Learning announced today that Dr. Bette Hyde will leave her position as director after six years of leading the department. Dr. Hyde will stay until August 31 to complete work in the legislative session which has a heavy early learning agenda and to provide time to find a new director.

Since taking the directorship in early 2009, Dr. Hyde has made significant strides in improving the quality and availability of early learning opportunities for the youngest Washingtonians. Under Dr Hyde’s leadership, the department developed a comprehensive 10 year early learning plan in Washington State that supported the development of ready and successful children, families, early learning professionals, schools, and communities.

One of Dr. Hyde’s proudest accomplishments is the creation and dissemination of the Early Learning and Development Guidelines, Birth Through 3rd Grade. These guidelines support families and providers in the recognition and cultivation of key developmental milestones for children from birth through 3rd grade. These guidelines are a useful tool for everyone who loves, cares for and educates young children. The guidelines also promote a whole child approach that acknowledges and honors the diversity of our state.

“We have made great progress in building a quality early learning system that is nationally recognized. While there is always more to do, I am honored by the partnerships we have established with fellow state agencies and community partners” Hyde said.

Other key accomplishments under Dr. Hyde’s leadership include: the launch of WAKids, a transition process and evaluation tool that enables a more successful start in K12 education for early learners; the development and implementation of Early Achievers, our state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System; and, the award of a $60 million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge federal grant and a $43 million federal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program grant.

“Under Bette’s leadership, Washington has made tremendous strides forward in improving access to high quality early learning opportunities for Washington’s families,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “I couldn’t be more proud of everything Bette has accomplished and appreciate her role in putting Washington on the map as a leader in early learning. The work of her and her team means thousands of Washington children are on the path to a brighter future.”

Prior to her directorship with the Department of Early Learning, Dr. Hyde served as superintendent of the Bremerton School District, a special education teacher, and a school psychologist, deputy superintendent for Puget Sound Educational Service District, a building principal and assistant superintendent in the Seattle, Vashon Island, and Highline school districts.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

State’s home visiting partnership receives federally funded support to explore Pay for Success model

Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. to help Department of Early Learning and Thrive Washington determine if private investors could play a key role in expanding home visiting services for young children and their families  

(OLYMPIA, WA) – The Washington state Department of Early Learning (DEL) and Thrive Washington (Thrive) will spend the next year exploring the feasibility of Pay for Success as a model to help the state greatly increase the number of children and families served through home visiting programs.

Washington was selected as part of a national competition run by Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (Third Sector). During 2015, they will provide DEL and Thrive, along with six other awardees, federally funded technical assistance. Third Sector’s work is supported by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund.

Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative funding model that leverages private and public investments to scale services and ensure high-quality program performance.

DEL and Thrive were selected for their demonstrated commitment to funding high-quality, effective, evidence-based home visiting programs through the state’s Home Visiting Services Account. This account uses combinations of federal, state and private funds to provide more home visiting services to families living in some of Washington state’s most vulnerable communities; funds also support the professional development of home visitors and ensure programs get the results they promise. Home visiting programs are proven to curb abuse and neglect, support school readiness, and give children and families a great start. Since the account was created in 2010, it has grown from funding four grantees serving 120 children to 36 grantees with the capacity to serve 2,000 children statewide. In Washington state, there are currently as many as 30,000 families who are eligible for home visiting services but can’t get them.

“Home visiting is a proven and powerful tool that not only improves child outcomes but also has the power to change the trajectory for an entire family. We are deeply committed to expanding and sustaining home visiting services in our state, and we’re thrilled to work with Third Sector Capital to explore Pay for Success as a way to serve more children and families,” said Bette Hyde, director of the state Department of Early Learning.

“We’ve already developed a successful, nationally recognized public-private partnership with our state’s Home Visiting Services Account. This exciting opportunity will allow us to build on what we’ve learned and determine if a Pay for Success model is an effective strategy to help us support more families through home visiting,” said Sam Whiting, president & CEO of Thrive Washington.

DEL and Thrive’s Pay for Success work will be supported locally by the Giddens Foundation, Foundation for Healthy Generations, Philanthropy Northwest and Mission Investors Exchange.

Third Sector, a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund’s Pay for Success program, announced the selection of Washington’s home visiting system along with six other awardees (called “sub-recipients”) after a highly selective national competition. The Sub-Recipients include: Austin/Travis County, TX; Bridges Network and Orange County, CA; Commonwealth of Virginia; State of Nevada in partnership with Clark County, NV and Las Vegas, NV; State of Oregon, Marion and Multnomah counties, OR, and Friends of the Children; Washington State Department of Early Learning and Thrive Washington; and Year Up.

“We are honored to work with both DEL and Thrive to measurably improve the lives of Washington State’s youngest children and their families,” said Third Sector CEO and Co-Founder George Overholser. “Support from the Social Innovation Fund will allow Third Sector to lead a diverse cohort of governments and nonprofits in accelerating their exploration of Pay for Success in the areas of early childhood and youth development.”  

In 2014, Third Sector received $1.9 million from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to help strengthen the pipeline of state and local governments and service providers prepared to explore and advance PFS strategies. SIF uses federal funding as a catalyst for private and public collaborations in three areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. To deliver the technical assistance, Third Sector is partnering with Abt Associates, America Forward, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and National Governor’s Association.

Seven PFS programs in the fields of juvenile justice, early childhood education, homelessness prevention and recidivism have been launched in the United States, including Chicago, IL; New York City, NY; Salt Lake City, UT; Cuyahoga County, OH; Massachusetts (two projects); and New York state. 

About Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc.
Third Sector is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate America’s transition to a performance-driven social sector. Third Sector is making Pay for Success a reality in the United States. Third Sector leads governments, high-performing nonprofits, and funders in building collaborative initiatives that re-write the book on how governments contract social services, by funding programs that work, saving taxpayer dollars, and measurably improving the lives of people most in need. Third Sector is a recipient of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund. Learn more at

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

About the Washington state Department of Early Learning
The Department of Early Learning (DEL) helps all Washington children reach their full potential and start kindergarten ready to learn and succeed. DEL oversees the state-funded preschool program, child care licensing and subsidies, early intervention services, and other initiatives and programs to support parents as children’s first and most important teachers.

About Thrive Washington

Thrive Washington is a leader in unifying and strengthening the state’s early learning system, so that all children are ready for school. Thrive rallies providers, funders and communities to improve services for children and families, especially those most in need. As a public-private partnership, it leverages state, federal and private dollars and helps ensure those funds are spent on the early learning programs and experiences that will make the biggest difference for Washington state’s youngest children and their families.