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

Tribal Nations


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At the Department of Early Learning (DEL), we work with Tribal Nations to help ensure all children and families have access to early learning resources and information.  Here are a few ways that DEL supports and collaborates with Washington Tribes:

  • The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) has nine sites operated by tribal organizations: Puyallup Tribe, Kalispel Tribe, Swinomish Tribe, Lummi Nation, Suquamish Tribe, Spokane Tribe, Tulalip Tribes, Upper Skagit Tribes and Salish School of Spokane. In the 2016-2017 school year, 661 ECEAP children identified as American Indian/Alaska Native. This is an expansion from 250 children in 2012-13. 
  • 20-hour and 10-hour STARS trainings are offered annually to tribal child care providers.
  • A Tribal certification process for child care licensing is available for Tribes.
  • Tribal Nations are represented and involved in large-scale, statewide projects including the redesign of the Washington State Early Learning and Development Guidelines, the Head Start/ECEAP Early Achievers project, and Washington's home visiting system.
  • DEL funds parent support and education projects that provide hands-on parent-child activities, parent education and family support services.
  • DEL sponsors Tribal Early Care and Education Conferences for early learning professionals who work with Tribal children and families.

Washington State Tribal Early Learning Language Summit 


Our children are our future graphic in a heart shapeMuckleshoot Casino Events Center, Auburn, WA
May 30-31, 2018
Join us for a celebration of our language and culture. Tribal members are invited to learn how to support their tribal languages within their early learning classrooms. Network with other tribal teams of Directors, Administrators and Tribal Leaders. Share your best practices and stories while learning new techniques & strategies. 
View the flyer (PDF, 550 kb) for this event for more information.

Tribal Certification Process

An overview of the process for certifying Tribal child care.

Since Time Immemorial Early Learning Curriculum