DCYF (Department of Children, Youth & Families) leadership Leslie Molloy, Erin Schoch, and Angela Abrams joined our Thursday Early Ed Zoom last week to answer questions about the MERIT system. With a nod to the MERCER MESS, we nicknamed the MERIT Workforce Registry the MERIT-Mess due to the overwhelming frustration felt by every person logging into this system. However, recent improvements to MERIT may alleviate some of the dread.

One of the most significant improvements is a dashboard for Program Directors to see the education page of their employees. Erin Schosch painstakingly answered all of the group’s questions, including whether Merit will ever be a repository for all documentation like safety and health documents (maybe in the future) or if teachers need to include high school diplomas if they have higher ed degrees (they do not.) Also, when a director emails the Merit system at merit@dcyf.wa.gov, there is a person on the other end who sorts the requests for help daily. The level of immediate need determines the response time.

This conversation between DCYF and early learning Directors helps build a stronger working relationship.