Today WFIS welcomed Deeann Puffert, Chief Executive Officer of Childcare Aware of Washington to talk with the early learning directors who run programs connected to K12 private schools.  With over 250 early learning programs connected to private schools, WFIS’ role in providing direct access and advocacy for our schools is vital.
Communications between DCYF and early learning programs is often indirect, unclear and incredibly slow.  Childcare Aware has stepped up and been an important conduit of information and support for program directors.
Every director on the Zoom meeting wanted to understand better the role of Childcare Aware and how it is connected to the other regional offices and to DCYF.  Childcare Aware was formed to help make child care more affordable and accessible for all families.  It is a research and data-driven grassroots organization that provides tools for people to take action.  Their combined efforts in the 2021 Legislative Session resulted in the the sweeping legislation comprised by the Fair Start Kids Act.  Participants got to hear the not only the vision for Childcare Aware but how Childcare Aware is connected to Childcare Resources and the other regional offices as well as how these regional offices connect to DCYF.  Sentiment from the group was that we need a map to make sense of the labyrinth of connections!
WFIS has immense gratitude to Deeann for taking the hour with private school early learning program directors and for sharing her opinions on what is working and what needs to change as we move forward with advocacy in 2022.