CDC partners with Vroom for Milestones Matter

CDC is using a Vroom tip on their Milestones Matter poster Milestones Matter with CDC and Vroom! This new poster from CDC and Vroom shares the importance of tracking your child’s development and using brain building tips to add learning to everyday moments. 

CDC offers more free materials available at

Vroom has lots of great tips, for children from birth to age 5, that support parents/caregivers with many positive ways to bring brain building into everyday moments!

Free Early Math Training

We are very pleased to invite you to a Free Math Anywhere training series via Zoom beginning on June 4th!
About Math Anywhere!: Established in 2017, Math Anywhere! is a community-based project in Washington which aims to build positive math experiences outside of school. We think:
math can be playful
interesting math-y ideas to explore exist all around us, wherever we go
anytime is a good time to chat about math
everyone has important math thinking to share
Math Anywhere has been working to create place-based media and visiting with children and their grown-ups in different community spaces to share our ideas. This training series will broaden how you think about math and inspire you to play with math in the places you visit every day. 
Training Series Dates:  Register for some or all (Session 1 required for Sessions 2-4)
June 4th – Session 1: Math Anywhere! Invite Math Play into Every Day
June 11th- Session 2: How Many? Noticing and Talking about Quantity
June 18th– Find Shapes: Exploring Geometry in our Landscape
June 25th– Same or Different? Yes!

All sessions will be held from 9-11am.

Intended Audience: Early Learning Professionals (Librarians, Home Visitors, Child Care Providers, etc), Parents, and anyone who is interested in having fun with children!

Follow-up sessions on Mathemetizing Spaces: August 27, October 15, Nov 19- designed for folks who complete or have completed the above Math Anywhere sessions

Instructor: Molly Daley, Math Coordinator at ESD 112 

Sponsored By: Snohomish County Early Learning Coalition

Funded By: Washington STEM

Questions? Contact Kendall Appell at

Safe Kids Academy

Safe Kids Washington has partnered with the Traumatic Brain Injury Council and the University of Oregon to bring a series of virtual safety education learning events for kids of all ages. These virtual events are engaging and fast moving with safety information, activities and entertainment, and prizes! We have sessions for all ages and parts for the parents in each session as well.

These virtual events are perfect for daycares and day camps as an options for engagement. They are great to give your kids something to do so they are not bored sitting at home once school is out or just something fun and educational while kids are at home for the summer or still engaged in virtual learning. You can even share this opportunity with friends and family in other states and participate together.

These sessions are free, and did I mention prizes. Participants (Washington residents only) will be eligible to get free safety equipment through local Safe Kids coalitions and other community partners, such as bicycle helmets or life jackets, or coupons for discounts on ATV helmets or car booster seats and each participant gets a chance for a drawing at the end of the session for prizes like Amazon gift cards, Xbox gift cards, an apple watch, and more. The more activities you complete during the session the more chances you get to win the larger drawing prizes. You can register for each individual session by clicking on the age and session date you want to sign up for in the attached flyer or use your smartphone camera to scan the QR code to be taken to the general registration page where you will find the Safe Kids Virtual Academy sessions as well as other free virtual conferences for TBI. 

FAE Registration Link

FAE Summer Academy’s priority registration closes May 15th!Students will have the opportunity to grow, learn, and make new friends! The FAE Summer Academy provides 5-weeks of fun and challenging summer learning for low-income children in our Skagit Valley communities. This summer the program will be held at Little Mountain Elementary in Mount Vernon.

Certified teachers and college fellows, who are studying to be teachers, incorporate literacy and reading into curriculum based on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. We also include enriching activities such as music, art, and field trips!

The mission of FAE is to provide empowering educational experiences for low-income children and families and to build a community that realizes its full potential supported by a network that encourages leadership and lifelong learning.

Kindergarten Registration for the 2021-22 School Year Has Begun!

Kindergarten Registration for the 2021-22 School Year Has Begun

Anacortes, WA– School districts across Northwest Washington are now registering kindergarten students for the 2021-22 school year. While school may look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, classes (whether remote, in-person or a combination of both) will still begin in the fall.

Families with children who are five years of age by September 1st should start the registration process now for Kindergarten. Children who will be six years old by September 1st can register for first grade whether or not they have attended Kindergarten.

Begin by determining the school district in your county of residence (NWESD school district sites are included here). Then contact that school district to determine specific registration steps. In many cases, kindergarten registration can be completed online.

NWESD regional school district K registration hub 

The following are overarching guidelines that most districts follow, please check with your individual district for specific requirements. 

  • Registering your child early will help school districts determine needs for space, staff, and options (remote, hybrid, in-person)
  • To register your child, most districts request proof of age and immunization records.
  • A child must be five years old before September 1, 2021to be entitled to enter kindergarten, except under special circumstances* 

After a child has been registered for kindergarten in their assigned district, most districts conduct a school visit, but during the pandemic, this visitation may be conducted virtually. You can find out a district’s process and protocols by getting in touch with your district of residence.

Considerations for families of young school-age children:

  • Schools and districts around the region are working hard to ensure the safety of all students and have been extremely successful in keeping safety and health at the forefront of decisions about the methods of learning offered. Each district makes these decisions with input from community members and public health officials. 
  • Social and emotional learning are essential pieces of young children’s development. Fostering relationships and learning alongside peers their same age is an important component of that development.  Schools are natural places for children to engage, learn, and grow together.  

*School districts may adopt regulations that provide for a screening process and/or instrument(s) that measure the ability or the need, or both of an individual student to succeed in earlier entry according to the option for exceptions to uniform entry qualification requirements (WAC 392-335-025).

For more information please contact your local district

Graphics prepared by the School Communications Collaborative

About the NWESD
Located in Anacortes, the NWESD is one of nine Educational Service Districts in Washington State. The NWESD serves 35 school districts and tribal compact schools in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan counties, providing leadership and cooperative services to the educational communities in the northwest region.  

Sarah Southard, NWESD Director Early Learning & Migrant Education Program | 360-299-4045

Jessica Owens, NWESD Communication Specialist | 360-299-4714

News From the Field – Help Me Grow

Centering Equity

Addressing Racial Inequities Laid Bare by COVID-19 Required a Renewed Commitment to Community Partnership

The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic people and low-income communities only adds to the urgent need for health care systems to establish processes for community engagement. Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation’s new blog post urges health care organizations to partner with the people and communities they serve to efficiently and effectively address the intersecting issues of systemic racism, implicit bias, and resulting health inequities from COVID-19. 

To Protect Children of Color, Leaders Must Understand and Address Environmental Racism

A new blog post from Child Trends illustrates the lasting effects of policies and practices that disproportionately expose Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color to pollution and hazardous conditions in their homes, neighborhoods, places of work, and other parts of their lives. Despite the direct role of policy and regulations in shaping these hazardous exposures, the permanent effects are often left out of discussions addressing environmental issues like pollution and climate change. 

Integrating Racial and Ethnic Equity Into
Policy Assessments to Improve Child Health 

Health Affairs introduces a framework that evaluates a policy’s ability to reduce racial/ethnic inequities. This approach to health policy analysis can help organizations produce findings that hone in on the experience of vulnerable subgroups and increase attention to monitoring and developing programs to mitigate inequities. 

Combating Racism: The Role of the Pediatrician

When it comes to racism, there is no population more impressionable and affected by their surroundings than our nation’s children. An article recently published by Pediatric Research advocates for breaking the cycles of racism endured by Black children. This article inspires clinicians to devote time and effort to address their own racial biases and provides actionable steps to break these biases that perpetuate racism in healthcare settings.  

Resources to Support Your Work

Leveraging Value-Based Payment Approaches to Promote Health Equity: Key Strategies for Health Care Payers

The Medicaid program is uniquely situated to address health-related disparities given its role in delivering care to individuals with low income. Value-Based Payment can be an effective tool in designing equity-focused payment and contracting models. This report, authored by the Center for Health Care Strategies, identifies six connected strategies to guide payers – including Medicaid agencies and managed care organizations – in developing equity-focused value-based payment approaches to mitigate health disparities at the state and local levels. 

Start Early’s Building Resilience Series 

Start Early’s Building Resilience Series is a free quarterly webinar series where early childhood experts across policy, programs, and state systems discuss their experiences with Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships. The first discussion touched on many relevant and timely themes within the early childhood education sector, including the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on the child care industry. 

The Need for New Cost Measures in
Pediatric Value-Based Payment

Value-based payment reform is gaining momentum as healthcare stakeholders seek to reduce costs and improve quality. Reforms have not been evenly distributed with most alternative payment models being focused on adults rather than children. This represents a missed opportunity, as early life interventions can significantly improve children’s cognitive and behavioral development resulting in reduced costs over a lifetime. The latest paper from Pediatrics describes the need for new cost measures to better capture the value of children’s healthy development and promote greater investment for preventive interventions during this important life stage.