• House Committee Passes bill creating Universal Pre-K, increasing Head Start wages and more!
  • Early Learning Chess Opportunity
  • Health Institute
  • COVID Resources
  • Links and Resources
WOW! Amazing Early Learning Investments Coming Our Way!
Hopefully, that is. But we have a terrific start! This week the House Committee on Education and Labor passed a historic package of investments in young children, its part of the President’s ‘Build Back Better‘ proposal.
But what exciting things does this $450 billion include, you’re asking? Lots of exciting things! Including:
  • $15 billion (2.5 billion a year) to Head Start programs to increase salaries to compete with K-12
  • Universal preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds, based on the Head Start classroom model and in mixed delivery settings (i.e. schools, child care, nonprofit, Head Start programs, etc)
  • Expands child care subsidy eligibility to 200% of SMI ($105K for a family of 4 in WA)
  • Reduce child care co-pays so families earning less than 75% of state median income (SMI – $77K for a family of 4 in WA) pay nothing and all families pay no more than 7% of their household income.
  • Increase support to providers for subsidized care so workers are earning a living wage, comparable to K-12.
We are exploring the details and talking to Senator Murray’s office about what changes we might want for the Senate version, assuming (and we are definitely assuming!) this passes the House. The National Head Start Association made a detailed summary of the legislation, and we’re working with them and other advocates to make sure this works for our Washington families and providers. The First Five Years Fund have also put together a nice more general summary of the bill contents.

Learning Opportunity! Use Chess in Your Classroom!
The Early Learning Chess program was designed to help build kindergarten readiness through fun simple lessons and activities. We know that there is a readiness gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers when they enter kindergarten and often this gap is difficult to close. The Early Learning Chess program is an engaging tool for teachers to use in the classroom for up to 15 minutes a day where students are working on counting, language, cognitive and social-emotional skills all while playing a fun game! Our goal is to empower the teachers with the right tools and training to bring the benefits of chess into their classrooms and help close the readiness gap. It is important to note that the program is not about learning chess, but rather exposing students to counting, problem-solving, and working together through fun chess activities.
The training is very interactive and hands-on. Many teachers come in feeling overwhelmed and apprehensive about implementing a chess program and leave telling us how excited they are to begin! I came to Chess4Life with no prior chess knowledge so I know chess can feel intimidating. Because of that, I make sure the teachers are confident and supported when launching this program.

Health Training Opportunity!

We’re partnering with Head Start California to give health staff in Washington access to a three-day, virtual conference experience on Oct. 25-27. Look forward to 35+ sessions, three live keynotes, interactive Q&A sessions, & exciting networking opportunities at the HSC Virtual Health Institute. Can’t make it Oct. 25-27th? Purchasing the conference grants, you access to all content for 30 days post event! Registration is $50 off with the promo code WAHEALTH21!

Register now for the HSC Virtual Health Institute, Oct 25-27. Have you attended a virtual conference? It’s never been easier or more fun! You can connect with colleagues & interact LIVE with most speakers during their scheduled Q&A session. Morning fitness classes, stretch breaks, and an after-conference networking session are included! No special computer equipment is needed. Take a look at the session catalog

Save the (Changed) Date!
WSA Fall Meeting
The worsening Delta variant situation means we are moving our WSA Fall Meeting online. We’ll be out with an agenda in the next week or two, and hope we’ll see you there! This is a great opportunity to learn new things, get the latest on federal and state advocacy, and talk to your fellow parents, staff and directors from around the state. More info coming soon!
Join us November 15-16 on your computer!

COVID Vaccine and Mask Requirement Resources
The ECEAP Team at DCYF did a great job in this week’s “ECEAP Reminders and Links” of pulling together the various FAQs, templates and resources that have been coming out since the Governor’s announcement about our early learning vaccine and mask requirements and processes. We’ll just paste them here!
Washington State Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources
Other Resources

Resources we’ve collected this week
You’ve shared lots of interesting and useful things with us this week!
In person is the best developmentally for kids, but a new study shows Head Start children made significant gains in 2020-21 despite the pandemic.
The First Five Years Fund has a great data fact sheet about early learning in Washington (pdf).
Interesting dashboard showing the lack of access to child care around Washington. (DCYF).
Don’t forget all the great things HS/EHS Region X Training and Technical Assistance has available!

Have a great week!

Katy & Joel & Scarlett and April