Early Learning Now

Early Learning Campaign

Learning begins at birth. Every experience children have, from their earliest months, shapes the basic structure of their brains.

Our goal is to create an early learning system in Washington that supports families by making sure they have high-quality options for their children’s early care and learning—whether their children spend their days at home, in formal childcare, or with family and friends.

No Kidding! Blog

Poll: Early learning is top priority

The voting public solidly backs babies, toddlers and preschool-age children.

Quality child care, pre-K and other programs are a necessity, not a luxury, say nearly 9 in 10 voters in a recent nationwide poll. Democrats, Republicans and independent voters all value early education for kids ages birth to five. And solid majorities of voters highly sought after by candidates for office—moderates, millennials, Latinos, non-partisan women—support early learning.

A Historic Victory for Washington's Children


Passage of the Early Start Act is great news for parents, children, and all Washingtonians who share in the vision of every child succeeding in school and in life.

With today’s vote, a strong bipartisan majority of the House and Senate have sent the Early Start Act (House Bill 1491) to Governor Inslee’s desk.

We applaud the legislative leaders for early learning in all four caucuses—Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle), Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island), Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) and Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane)—and the many legislators who supported the Early Start Act. They have acted on the years of research showing that high quality early learning builds stronger families, better schools, more self-reliant adults and safer communities. Early learning is a necessary part of any strategy to close the opportunity gap facing too many of Washington’s children in low-income families and children of color.

Click here for photos of advocates and kids celebrating as Gov. Jay Inslee signs the Act.  

Children's Alliance deputy director Jon Gould with early learning leaders Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla, left) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle, right) after the passage of the Early Start Act in the House of Representatives on Sunday, June 28.

Children's Alliance deputy director Jon Gould with early learning leaders Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla, left) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle, right) after the passage of the Early Start Act in the House of Representatives on Sunday, June 28.




Combined with a historic $158 million investment in early learning in the 2015-17 budget, passage of the Early Start Act marks a new level of commitment to early learning in Washington. 

Latest News


Posted on: Monday, March 31, 2014 - 6:29pm

Today’s release of the KIDS COUNT® policy report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, unveils the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels. The data can better inform policymakers who create policies and programs that can benefit all children, while targeting strategies and investments where attention is needed most.

New Data Shows Critical Need to Invest in Children's Early Years

Posted on: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 12:04pm

New national data shows that state and federal policies fail to connect thousands of Washington children to the opportunities they need for success in school and in life.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest KIDS COUNT policy report, “The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success,” presents a strong case for investing in the early years of a child's life.


Champions for Children: 2015 Legislative Session

Created on: Monday, September 14, 2015 - 1:08pm

Children’s Alliance Champions for Children are state lawmakers recognized for their outstanding service to children in a specific policy area in a particular legislative session.

This year, ten elected officials received this award for their significant leadership in preserving, protecting, or advancing state policies or investments that will improve the well‐being of vulnerable children in Washington.

Policy Changes Included in the Early Start Act

Created on: Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - 7:47pm

In 2015, Washington’s legislature passed and Governor Inslee signed the Early Start Act (HB 1491). The bipartisan, historic Early Start Act enacts unprecedented policies and resources to help ensure all children get the great start they need. The Early Start Act includes numerous provisions designed at increasing access to quality care for all children, particularly children in low-income families and children of color.