Alert: Beginning July 1, 2018, the Department of Early Learning will become the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). After June 30, 2018, this website will no longer be updated. For the latest information on early learning, visit the DCYF website at

Release Time


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Washington’s Early Care and Education Substitute Pool is designed to support Family Child Care and Child Care Center providers in accessing release time so that they can work on professional development goals to reach Early Achievers Level 3 or higher. 

You can request a qualified substitute (all have lead teacher qualifications) to come into your program and release you to work on professional development opportunities related to Early Achievers. You are eligible if you meet the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in Early Achievers and working towards a Level 3 rating.
  • Have served at least one child receiving state subsidy in the last 12 months.
  • Are in good licensing status, meaning your license is not expired, suspended, revoked, or on probationary status. 

For a list of allowable activities that you can use release time for, see Substitute Pool Allowable Activities

The Early Care and Education Substitute Pool is administered by The Imagine Institute. To learn more about how you can access release time to work on Early Achievers activities, visit or contact The Imagine Institute at: