Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC)

The Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) was created by the Legislature in 2007. Click here to read the statutory language. ELAC representatives from around the state meet regularly to provide input and recommendations to the Department of Early Learning so our strategies and actions are well informed and broadly supported by parents, child care providers, health and safety experts and interested members of the public.

Governor Jay Inslee holds final authority for policy decisions.

Special Announcement:

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) is recruiting for a vacant seat on the Washington Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) and is accepting applications from qualified and interested individuals. The governor-appointed seat represents Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant/Seasonal Head Start or Tribal Head Start Program. The position is effective upon appointment through June 30, 2017.

ELAC's membership reflects Washington’s regional, racial, and cultural diversity and includes representatives of Tribal Nations, independent schools, the K-12 and higher education systems, and others interested in creating a statewide early learning system that helps all children realize their full potential.

ELAC Membership Requirements:

Members serve two-year terms that expire on June 30th of the second year. ELAC meets at least six times per year; generally from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ELAC members are expected to attend the majority of meetings and be prepared to actively participate. Participants in subcommittees or work groups should expect to meet outside of the regular meeting dates. Please see ELAC’s Charter and guiding documents for more on membership expectations.

The open membership seat is an unpaid position, although non-governmental members may be eligible for compensation and reimbursement for travel expenses incurred while carrying out ELAC duties. Translation and interpretation is available upon request.


Interested individuals who can commit to the membership requirements can apply for the open ELAC seat online on the Governor’s website by February 15, 2016. Along with your resume, please add a brief statement that addresses the following:

  • Why would you like to serve as a representative on ELAC?
  • How did you hear about ELAC and/or who referred you?
  • What is your perspective on or approach to closing opportunity and gaps advancing racial equity in early learning?
  • What impact do you hope to see ELAC have on early learning in Washington, and how do you want to contribute to that effort?

Please contact slc@del.wa.gov with any questions. Thank you for your interest in contributing to our state’s progress toward building an early learning system that meets the needs of all Washington children and families!

ELAC meetings

The Early Learning Advisory Council meets quarterly.
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ELAC members

ELAC members are a diverse group of people whose role is to provide input and recommendations to inform DEL's work.
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Washington Early Learning State and Local Coordination Project

The Department of Early Learning, in collaboration with our partners at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Thrive by Five Washington (Thrive), has started the Washington Early Learning State and Local Coordination Project to strengthen how different parts of the state’s early learning system work together to support children in Washington.
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Early Achievers Review Subcommittee (EARS)

The Early Achievers Review Subcommittee provides guidance on strategies to improve the quality of instruction and environment for early learning and recommendations on the implementation and refinement of Early Achievers, Washington’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. Read More >

Birth-to-Three Subcommittee

The Birth to Three Subcommittee tracks and promotes the progress of implementing Washington’s Birth to Three Plan and provides advice to the Department of Early Learning (DEL) on early learning systems issues that relate to infants and toddlers.
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Early Learning Plan

The 2007 Washington Legislature charged DEL and ELAC with developing a statewide early learning plan that ensures school readiness for all children in Washington.
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Related Websites
Foundation for Early Learning: Kids Matter
RCW 43.215.090 - Early Learning Advisory Council
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For More Info...

Email an Early Learning Advisory Council Coordinator.