Who We Are
The Early Learning Action Alliance is a broad coalition of organizations representing a diverse array of Washington nonprofits, professional associations, businesses, and industries. We are united by the belief that all children in Washington state deserve to have the opportunities and support they need in their first five years of life to be prepared for school and a bright future. View our members.
Why Early Learning
Children are born learning. Evidence shows that high-quality early learning in culturally and linguistically responsive environments, characterized by nurturing relationships and rich opportunities for play and exploration, lays the foundation for essential social, emotional, and cognitive skills. High-quality early learning is an essential part of any strategy to close the opportunity gap facing too many of Washington’s children in low-income families and children of color.
All children deserve the chance to succeed in life. Yet more than half of the children in Washington state enter kindergarten without the basic skills they need to thrive. Quality child care, preschool, and family care options remain out of reach for hundreds of thousands of middle- and low-income families. Too many Washington parents do not have access to high-quality, culturally and linguistically responsive care that they can afford.
Our Long-Term Priorities
We need researched, market-driven policies that will give all young children the skills they need to start school ready to succeed. These policies should support parents as their children’s first and most important teachers and provide a range of culturally relevant support services to families who need them.
A range of top quality child care, family care and preschool options must be available to all families. Professional development opportunities must be accessible to the thousands of child care professionals across the state. Together, we can help make Washington state a place where all families and young children have the opportunities they need to thrive.
When we close the opportunity gap, we’ll narrow the school achievement gap, which will result in higher employment levels later on in life. Communities that prioritize early learning see substantial social and economic returns. Smart investments in early learning yield positive returns for families and communities across Washington state.
Our 2020 Legislative Agenda
We call on state lawmakers to:
- $3 million to expand access to intensive home visiting
- Expand the number of dual language early learning programs so children can receive high-quality early learning in their home language
- Invest in Working Connections Child Care so small pay advancements don’t lead to large child care bills for hardworking families
- $1.4 million to fund continuity of high-quality child care for families experiencing homelessness
- $6 million to ensure ECEAP can meet the complex needs of children and families
Support the Early Care and Education Workforce
- Authorize and fund community-based pathways to attain credentials and professional development
- Increase rates for infants and toddlers by at least 12%
In 2015, we worked with Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Legislature to pass the Early Start Act, along with an historic investment, to develop Washington’s base of high-quality early learning opportunities. In 2017 we expanded access to high-quality prekindergarten through the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, or ECEAP, and ensured a continued high priority to early learning within the new Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Membership is open to any organization that agrees with our mission and guiding principles and is not a target of our advocacy at the state or federal level. For membership details, please read the Early Learning Action Alliance Charter (PDF).
The Early Learning Action Alliance is convened by the Children’s Alliance. Learn more by contacting April Messenger at (206) 324-0340 or april(dot)messenger(at)childrensalliance(dot)org.
American Federation of Teachers WA * The Arc of King County * Archdiocese of Seattle * Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound * Blueprints for Learning * Centralia College * Child Care Action Council * Child Care Aware of Washington * Child Care Resources * Children’s Alliance * Children's Campaign Fund * Children’s Home Society of Washington and Trust Foundation * Committee for Children * Community Center for Education Results * Denise Louie Education Center * Doulas for All Coalition * Early Learning Public Library Partnership * Economic Opportunity Institute * Edmonds School District * Educare Early Learning Center * First 5 FUNdamentals * Foundation for Tacoma Students * KinderCare Education * League of Education Voters * League of Women Voters WA * Lutheran Community Services Northwest * MomsRising * Neighborhood House * Nurse Family Partnership * OneAmerica * Open Arms Perinatal Services * Organization for Parenting Education Programs * Parent-Child Home Program * Parent Trust for Washington Children * Partners for Our Children * Pike Market Child Care and Preschool * Project Child Success * Puget Sound Educational Service District * Reach Out & Read Washington State * Save the Children * Save the Children Action Network * School’s Out Washington * SEIU Local 925 * SOAR * Social Venture Partners * Sound Child Care Solutions * Southeast Seattle Education Coalition * Stand for Children * Statewide Poverty Action Network * Thrive Washington * Tiny Trees Preschool * Toxic-Free Future * United Way of King County * United Way of Pierce County * United Way of Snohomish County * United Ways of Washington * Voices of Tomorrow * Volunteers of America Western Washington* Washington Association for Infant Mental Health * The Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics * Washington Dental Service Foundation * Washington Educators in Early Learning * Washington Federation of Independent Schools * Washington State Alliance of YMCA’s * Washington State Association of Head Start & ECEAP * Washington State Budget & Policy Center * Washington State Community Action Partnership * Washington STEM * Washington Childcare Centers Association * Washington Communities for Children * Washington State Family Child Care Association * Wellspring Family Services * WithinReach * YMCA of Greater Seattle * Zeno