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Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

BUILD Washington

Download Washington's 2015 BUILD State Profile

BUILD State Inception Year


BUILD State Leads

Nicole Rose, Washington Department of Early Learning, [email protected]

Early Childhood System

Early Childhood Governance Structure: The Department of Early Learning (DEL) is the state government agency responsible for coordination of state early childhood program and system building efforts. Thrive Washington is a nonprofit organization which receives both public and private funds to support statewide early childhood system building efforts. Both organizations are linked in statute with the head of DEL required to work with Thrive Washington in supporting its early childhood activities. The Early Learning Partnership Resolution also connects DEL with Thrive Washington, the Department of Health, the Department of Social and Health Services and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Top 7 Early Childhood Areas of Focus in 2015

  1. Sustain Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge funding and preserve preschool expansion under entitlement legislation.
  2. Evaluate Early Achievers (Washington’s Quality Rating and Improvement System) standards and process for potential revisions. Make revisions across the early learning system that ensure a continuum of standards from licensing to state preschool aligned with the Early Achievers framework.
  3. Continue to expand state preschool and build a differentiated family support model to ensure that more children can be reached and that the level of services is appropriate to family need. 
  4. Build deeper levels of professional development through the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning and via coaching and training focused on individualized instruction. 
  5. Strengthen the capacity and role of the Early Learning Coalitions to coordinate and support early childhood system building efforts at the community level across Washington.
  6. Expand the capacity and outreach of the state's home visiting system to serve additional families and maximize effectiveness.
  7. Operationalize the state's racial equity theory of change to assure that decisions are being made about the state's early childhood system through a racial equity lens and strengthen linkages with the state's tribal leaders and communities.

BUILD 2015 Areas of Focus

  • Support state leaders in operationalizing the state's racial equity theory of change including assuring that the system is responsive to the needs of children and families of diverse races, languages and cultures. 
  • Assist in the development of regional hubs to support the state's early learning system building efforts.
  • Connect state leaders to work in other states to learn from their efforts on a range of issues and particularly including work around home visiting approaches and funding strategies.
  • Support regional coalition capacity building efforts.

Federal Grants

  • Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant - $60,000,000 (Phase 1)
  • Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership State Grant - No state grant was received. $5,900,000 in annual grants were received by three community-based organizations in Washington.
  • MIECHV Grant - $9,398,651 competitive grant and $2,060,549 formula grant (FY 2015)

State Funds Supporting Early Childhood Programs/Initiatives

$76,474,000 in General State Funds for state preschool.

Local/Regional Collaboratives: Under Thrive Washington, there are ten early learning regional coalitions.

State Government Leadership

  • Governor Jay Inslee (D)
  • State Legislature: House (Democrat controlled) and Senate (Republican controlled)

Advocacy Agenda

Children's Alliance is Washington’s early childhood advocacy organization. View their 2015 legislative agenda.

Key State Documents of Interest

Washington State Early Learning Plan

Early Achievers Cost of Quality Report

Early Achievers Standards

Washington State Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Evaluation

Evaluation of Washington State’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program

2013 Work Force Report