I'm an Early Learning Provider

Washington uses the Early Care and Education and School Age Core Competencies to define what professionals need to know and be able to do when providing high quality care for children. These competencies are used in the creation of job postings, professional development plans, knowledge assessments and more. 

Creating Washington's Next Statewide Early Learning Strategic Plan | Available in English, Somali & Spanish

ideas infographic

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) is working with communities across the state to gather and summarize existing information, data and experiences to create a statewide early learning needs assessment. This will help us identify where the current system has opportunities for improvement as well as areas of success and promise. It will include data on young children’s health and development, school readiness, the economic stability and well-being of families, availability of high quality early learning experiences and more.

Early Learning Facilities Program Grant Guidelines Available Online | Somali | Spanish

early learning classroom

Early Learning Facilities Program Grant Guidelines Available Online

The Department of Commerce has released the 2019-21 Early Learning Facilities (ELF) program grant guidelines for eligible organizations who currently provide Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) or Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), or who intend to do so with their new facility.

Message from Secretary Hunter on Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention

grandparents and child

Our Plan to Improve the Foster Parent Experience

Each year, thousands of foster and kinship families open their hearts and homes to our state’s most vulnerable children. There are nearly 9,200 children in Washington who are in out-of-home placements. This number has been climbing slowly every year as we work through the opioid epidemic and the aftermath of the great recession.

Tumwater Office Hosts Back to School Event for Foster Families

Tumwater Foster care Picnic

Dozens of foster families received free school supplies during a foster care picnic last week at the Tumwater Historical Park.

The DCYF event featured food, an activity set up by the Hands On Children’s Museum of Olympia and free school supplies donated by various community partners.

Joyce Erickson, a Fostering Together liaison from Thurston County, was at the event ready to hand out supplies.

“It builds a sense of community,” said Erickson, who has fostered seven children and adopted four. “It allows kids to be around other kids like them.” 

DCYF Staff Attend Mockingbird Society Youth Leadership Summit

mockingbird society youth leadership summit

Hundreds of youth, community partners, DCYF leadership and staff attended the 14th Annual Mockingbird Society Youth Leadership Summit last week.

The event, held in Seattle, allowed youth from all over the state to identify challenges or barriers and propose solutions to issues foster and homeless youth currently face.

Jody Becker, DCYF deputy secretary of programs for children and families, pointed out the agency’s new Office of Adolescent Services will work closely with youth to improve systems for adolescents served within DCYF.

Kelso Office Temporarily Closed

Closed office

Update: The DCYF Kelso Office was reopened on Wednesday, Aug. 14. 

The DCYF Kelso office, located at 711 Vine, Ste 2, is closed today due to repairs. If you need assistance with reporting abuse, neglect or child care concerns, please call 1-866-764-2233.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Standards Alignment: The Foundational Quality Standards for Early Learning Programs

Teacher with students doing activities around a table

The Early Start Act of 2015 mandated that the Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) update the child care licensing rules so that the early learning system has a unified set of foundational health, safety and child development regulations that are easy to understand. The standards alignment process created one clear progression of quality standards across DCYF's programs.