Commerce awards over $4 million to increase capacity in early learning facilities
Grants add or retain 361 spaces for pre-kindergarten education and care for children from low-income households
OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, announced an additional $4.089 million in grants to nine early learning providers across Washington. Grant recipients will use the funds to add new capacity, or purchase facilities at risk of being lost.
“These grants will help ensure all of our children are ready to enter kindergarten,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. ”Childcare is a challenge for working parents even in good times, but will become even more crucial as we begin to reopen our state and safely restart our economy.”
“Providers currently face many challenges amid the coronavirus outbreak and are in need of additional supports to meet the changing and increased demand for child care as the state reopens,” said Secretary Ross Hunter. “My hope is these grants will offer some relief.”
Half of Washington parents who responded to an independent survey initiated by the Washington Child Care Collaborative Task Force said child care is difficult to find and keep.
The grant recipients and number of new or retained ECEAP/WCCC spaces are:
- University Temple Children’s School – Seattle – $536,484 – 35 spaces
- All Blessed Children Early Learning Center – Tacoma – $150,000 – 24 spaces
- Childhaven – Seattle – $751,924 – 120 spaces
- Christine’s Little Athletes, LLC – Spokane Valley – $245,000 – 50 spaces
- Creative Minds Learning Center, LLC – Buckley – $149,307 – 31 spaces
- Learning to Grow, INC – Elma – $751,924 – 48 spaces
- Pateros Treehouse Early Education Organization – Pateros – $540,000 – 20 spaces
- Skagit Valley Family YMCA – Mt. Vernon – $465,000 – 14 spaces
- Vision House – Shoreline – $500,000 – 19 spaces
Funding approved in the 2020 supplemental capital budget allowed Commerce to award these grants to projects that couldn’t be funded in the first round, announced in February.
The Early Learning Facilities grant program supports the state’s commitment to developing additional high quality early learning opportunities for children from low-income households. The grant provides financial support to allow Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) contractors and Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidy providers to plan, expand, remodel, purchase or construct early learning facilities and classrooms.
Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106