WFIS appreciates the work of April Shiosaki, Director of Blossoming Hill Montessori, and our DCYF-Early Learning Advisory Council representative to attend meetings with much data and content to process. The following items are points of interest for early ed programs shared by April.

The Childcare Need Supply Data interactive map shows the estimated demand met (in %) of childcare by zip, school district, legislative district, etc., for all of WA State. It is an impressive tool.

DCYF has tracked “provide churn” – new providers, retained providers, and providers leaving the field – for over a decade. Though the industry shows slight strengthening for 2022 in this PowerPoint (pages 6-10), meeting participants raised the critical point about the lack of data on staff wage and benefit rates and staff retention rates over the years by county. Some information can be found by sorting through Data.WA.Gov, but it does not neatly align with the lived experiences of providers.

Early Learning Division Structure Update

DCYF’s Early Learning Division has a new organizational structure with four key areas intending to ensure children, families, and providers get what they need when they need it, with more clarity and fewer barriers.

The Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (EASIT) program and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) offer resources for families if their children might have disabilities (services, what families should know, where to find development screenings). Many childcare programs also provide screenings.

DCYF heard feedback that providers feel the agency needs to take the efforts made in different communities seriously and understand what providers actually have access to. Authentic engagement is required to make the system effective and genuinely supportive.

New DCYF Training Site for Child Care Providers

Stay up-to-date with DCYF’s New Training Site on this dedicated webpage. This Youtube Video on the intended “one-stop-shop” for childcare provider training and access being built conveys that it is a work in process that will need input from providers to make it happen.

Currently, people looking for training must go into MERIT and then move to another site to take training. Eventually, the pieces will come together to search and take training united under one place!