Monday, July 1, 2013

Early Achievers is available in all Washington counties, starting July 1!

Early Achievers, Washington’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system, is now available to all licensed child care providers and families statewide. Starting today, we've completed the three-phase statewide rollout of Early Achievers.

DEL, with our partners Child Care Aware of Washington and the University of Washington, launched the Early Achievers' statewide rollout one year ago, after a successful pilot project with 64 "early adopters." Since then, we have grown to nearly 1,400 participating child care providers, serving more than 34,000 Washington children.

What does this mean for families?

Child Care Check screen shot of an Early Achievers participant
Child care providers demonstrate their commitment to quality simply by participating in Early Achievers.
Parents can find out whether their provider is participating in Early Achievers by looking on Child Care Check, DEL's online licensed child care information system. You can the provider's Early Achievers status by looking for the Early Achievers icon.

Soon, you will be able to see whether your provider is “participating in quality improvement,” which means they are working on being rated or have been rated level 2, or has achieved a “quality level of excellence” which means the provider has been rated level 3, 4 or 5.

You also can ask your provider whether they are participating in Early Achievers and learn more about what they are doing to ensure that the children in their care are ready for success in school and beyond.

Opportunities for child care providers
Early Achievers offers child care providers and their staff access to coaching, professional development, cash incentives, and other resources that support high-quality child care at no cost to providers or families.

One recent professional development opportunity for child care providers and their staff is the Early Achievers Institutes, being held in several Washington locations this summer and fall. The first institute was held in SeaTac last week, June 27-30. The next institute is July 11-14 in Spokane. Participants choose the sessions they want to attend and have an opportunity to meet other Early Achievers participants. Scholarships and translation are available.

Head Start/ECEAP pilot project
We are preparing for participation of Head Start and our state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, or ECEAP, providers. We recently finished a one-year pilot project with Head Start and ECEAP and as a result, those programs will join at a Level 3 and may serve as“resource hubs,” sharing their training and other resources with child care providers in their community. ECEAP programs must join Early Achievers by 2015, due to House Bill 1723.

For more information

Early Achievers is 100 percent supported by the 2011 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge federal grant and the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) ($21 million for fiscal year 2013), for which DEL is the lead state agency.

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