Early Achievers for Families

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Early Achievers, Washington's quality rating and improvement system, helps parents and families evaluate how early learning programs are preparing children to succeed.

What does that mean for families?

  • Early Achievers helps families find high-quality child care and early learning programs that fit theirs and their children's needs.
  • Early Achievers does not incur a cost to families.
  • Choosing child care is an important decision. Families deserve to know their children are in quality child care environments that foster a love of learning, promote each child's unique skills and cultures, and support the development of the whole child.
  • Participating child care and early learning providers receive free resources and training to improve the quality of their programs and there is no additional cost to families.

How does Early Achievers work?

  • Early Achievers rates the quality of child care and early learning programs on a scale of 1 to 5. Simply by participating in Early Achievers, child care and early learning providers demonstrate a commitment to improving quality.
  • Participating, "not yet rated" means a provider is participating in quality improvement activities including training, technical assistance and rating preparation.
  • Level 2 means a provider is participating in quality improvement in partnership with coaching support and incentives.
  • Levels 3-5 are points-based and earned through on-site evaluations conducted by the University of Washington (UW).
  • Level 3 programs demonstrate supporting and nurturing interactions with children, developmentally appropriate practice and view parents as partners in their children's learning. These programs may be implementing some best practices in early childhood education and working toward implementing others to help prepare children for kindergarten. Some staff may have early childhood education-specific degrees and credentials.
  • Level 4 programs have a focus on preparing children for kindergarten, supporting overall development of individual children and include parents in their child's learning and development plan. Some staff have early childhood education-specific degrees and credentials.
  • Level 5 programs demonstrate consistent best practices associated with positive child outcomes for all children and include a deep understanding of how to individualize instruction/support for every child and family based on information gathered by the program. Many teachers in these programs have early childhood education-specific degrees and credentials.
  • Families can find child care providers' Early Achievers status on DEL's licensed child care information system, Child Care Check.

What can families do?

  • Ask your child care provider about Early Achievers and learn more about what they are doing to ensure that young children enter school ready to succeed.
  • Start your child care search by contacting Child Care Aware Washington at 1-800-446-1114 or online at www.wa.childcareaware.org.
  • Take a look at child care provider's basic licensing history and find out if your child care provider is participating in Early Achievers on DEL's Child Care Check.

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