Washington Champions for Early Learning

Dear Champions for Young Children and Families

Welcome to the inaugural Start Early Washington newsletter! Start Early Washington (formerly known as the Ounce Washington) launched in January of 2020 with the goals of expanding access to high-quality early learning for children in Washington and championing public policy that puts kids and families at the center. As you would expect, our focused shifted quickly to respond to emergent needs of families during the pandemic. Here’s what we’ve been doing to support children and families in our state:

  • Building on a decade of expertise supporting home visiting implementation, we supported 60 programs with training and technical assistance to pivot their programs to virtual in response to COVID-19 restrictions. Serving 2,791 children, these programs were able to convert their services to virtual, allowing families to retain critical connections during these challenging times
  • We have hosted 26 virtual learning workshops and 224 technical assistance sessions with programs to help transition to a virtual environment, enabling home visitors and supervisors to provide the encouragement, tools, and resources necessary to support and retain the essential workforce that is reaching our most vulnerable families
  • We are building a robust advocacy voice, championing the needs of children and families, focusing on those farthest from opportunity

There has never been a more important time to support the needs of children and families in our state. COVID-19 has highlighted the inequities in our systems and the disproportionate impacts on families of color and those in poverty. Our focus is exclusively on advocating for the needs of Washington’s children and families and ensuring equitable opportunities for all of Washington’s families to thrive.
 To learn more about the importance of our work and what it means to Start Early: 

About Us

About Us As a state office of Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce), Start Early Washington is leveraging over 40 years of experience and expertise in policy, practice and research in early childhood development. We have launched a State Advisory Committee, chaired by Sheila Capestany, a lifelong champion for children and families with 25+ years in the non-profit and public sector, to help guide our work. We are excited to continue to partner with state, community, and nonprofit leaders from across the state to advance the needs of young children and families and to improve outcomes for Washington’s youngest learners. Our top priorities include: Increasing the visibility and voice of early childhood education and advancing racial equity as a policy priority in Washington Growing Washington’s early learning advocacy and policy capacity by promoting a comprehensive prenatal to five system across the state Partnering with public and private organizations to provide children and families across the state with high-quality early learning opportunities We look forward to partnering with you to elevate and advance these critical issues.