July 1, 2013
Early Achievers child care rating system completes statewide rollout
Child care providers in all areas of Washington may now participate in quality rating and improvement system
Licensed child care providers in every Washington county may now participate in Early Achievers, Washington’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system.
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.
The statewide roll-out kicked off in July 2012 in 23 Washington counties, serving roughly 66 percent—more than 4,300—of licensed and certified child care programs in the state. In January 2013, Phase 2 of the statewide roll-out reached approximately 850 licensed child care providers in seven additional counties in Southwest and Eastern Washington. With this third and final phase of the statewide roll-out, all of the approximately 6,300 licensed child care programs in Washington may participate in Early Achievers.
As of July 1, 2013, there are nearly 1,400 child care programs participating in Early Achievers, serving more than 34,000 children in Washington state.
Early Achievers connects parents and families to child care and early learning programs through an easy-to-understand rating system. Families can see whether licensed and certified child care providers are participating in Early Achievers on Child Care Check, DEL’s online licensed child care information system. Early Achievers providers listed as “participating in quality improvement” have been rated level 2 or are working on completing requirements for level 2. Providers listed as achieving a “quality level of excellence” have been rated level 3, 4 or 5.
In addition, DEL has completed a pilot project to determine how publicly funded preschools--Head Start and our state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, or ECEAP--may participate in Early Achievers. As a result of the pilot, Head Start and ECEAP programs may join Early Achievers at 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.
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.