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

Racial Equity Initiative


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WaKIDS Readiness by Race/Ethnicity, 2015 

   Data Source: OSPI (WaKIDS 6/6 readiness and kindergarten enrollment)

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) has committed to a goal of ensuring that ninety percent of children in Washington are ready for kindergarten by 2020, with race and family income no longer being predictors of success. Children of color make up 44 percent of the estimated 446,000 children under 5 years of age, and only 38.6 percent enter school with all of the proficiencies they need to thrive.  The purpose of the Racial Equity Initiative is to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy that strengthens DEL’s capacity to advance racial equity and eliminate disparities in child outcomes. 

What We’re Doing

DEL’s school readiness goal is a complex and major undertaking that will likely present many challenges, particularly around eliminating racial disparities. Making an impact on child and family outcomes will require a long-term commitment and strategy developed and implemented in partnership with families, communities of color and key partners. The focus for 2016-2017 is to lay a strong foundation for ongoing efforts. As a starting point, DEL will: 
  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive racial equity strategy. This strategy will include a racial equity framework or shared approach to leading for equity and a racial equity plan with specific goals and priorities that lead to the greatest impact on closing opportunity gaps and removing barriers for children, families and professionals of color.

  2. Develop and continually refine tools and processes necessary to implement the racial equity strategy, including tailored racial equity impact analysis tools, an agency-wide family, community and stakeholder engagement protocol and disaggregated data and metrics to measure the impact of DEL’s actions.

  3. Train and support DEL staff to increase their knowledge, awareness and capacity to lead for equity. The first step is to convene and support a Racial Equity Team that will provide leadership in developing the racial equity strategy, tools, training and processes, as well as model culturally and linguistically responsive practices.  The team will play a critical role in setting the conditions and environment necessary to engage others in racial equity conversations and efforts.

Evette Jasper, State/Local Coordination Administrator 
Phone: 360.725.3501