Children in a classroom with learning materials

Our Program

The Early Learning Facilities program supports Washington’s commitment of developing additional high quality early learning opportunities for children from low-income households. The program aims to help Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) contractors and Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidy providers to expand, remodel, purchase, or construct early learning facilities and classrooms.

Commerce’s Early Learning Facilities Grant program consists of four parts:
• Direct appropriations from the legislature
• A grant and loan program operated by a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)
• A competitive grant program for eligible organizations
• A K-12 school program

Funding Availability Information

K-12 School Districts

The 2021-23 ELF Grant program for K-12 school districts opens June 1, 2020 and closes August 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM. To learn more about this funding opportunity, please review the 2021-23 K-12 school district program guidelines.

To apply for funding, please click here to access the application via ZoomGrants. If you have a ZoomGrants account, log in and follow the instructions. If you are a new user, complete the required information for a new ZoomGrants account to create a profile. Once your profile has been created, select ‘2021-2023 Early Learning Facilities (ELF) Program: K-12 School Districts’ and click the ‘Apply’ button to start your application.

Eligible Organizations

The 2019-21 ELF Grant program is now closed to eligible organizations. The next round will be tentatively Spring 2021. To learn more about eligible organizations funding opportunity please review our program guidelines. Please note information in the guidelines may be subject to change in future rounds.

Eligible Organizations Program Guidelines are available in the following formats:
English | Spanish | Somali.

Eligible organizations include:
• Family Child Care Home
• Child Care Center
• Developers of housing and community facilities
• Community and technical colleges
• Educational Service Districts (ESD)
• Local governments
• Federally recognized tribes in the state
• Religious affiliated entities.

CDFI

Commerce has selected a three CDFI partnership of Washington Community Reinvestment Association, Enterprise Community Partners, and Craft 3 to run our loan program. Only eligible organizations can apply for this opportunity directly with the CDFI. More information will be provided about this option soon, so stayed tuned!

Related Law

RCW 43.31.565 through RCW 43.31.583

Link to 2019-21 Program Legislation
SHB 1102, Section 1037

Links to 2017-19 Program Legislation
HB 1777
ESSB 6095, Section 1005

2019-2021 Grant Results

Click here for our first list of awarded recipients.

Click here for our second list of awarded recipients.

2017-2019 Grants Results

Click here for a list of awarded recipients.

Questions?

For all program related questions, please email: earlylearningfacilities@commerce.wa.gov

Program Staff

Department of Commerce
Kristin Ramos
Early Learning Program Manager
Kristin.Ramos@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-515-6504

Matt Mazur-Hart
Behavioral Health and Early Learning Section Manager
Matt.Mazur-Hart@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3020

Tanya Mercier
Behavioral Health and Early Learning Program Manager
Tanya.Mercier@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-704-0139

Department of Children, Youth, and Families
Grace Ssebugwawo
Community Funded ECEAP/Early Learning Facilities Specialist
Grace.Ssebugwawo@dcyf.wa.gov
Phone: 360-701-7197

Lisa Hall
Early Learning Facilities (ELF) Specialist
Lisa.Hall@dcyf.wa.gov
Office: 509-789-3829 | Cell: 509-342-5007

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