SEATTLE (May 19, 2017) – Today, the Department of Education and Early Learning announced that Child Care Resources and Tiny Tots ELC will serve as hubs for two networks of Seattle Preschool Program Seattle Preschool Program Family Child Care Providers. The Family Child Care Provider Pilot is designed to understand how Family Child Care providers can best participate and benefit from the Seattle Preschool Program. These two hubs will serve as contracting agents between the City and the Family Child Care Providers, as well as provide these small businesses with technical assistance and operational support. Together, the networks are expected to support up to 50 preschool-aged children in the pilot and invest up to $640,000 in preschool funding.
“We are pleased to move forward with the launch of this important pilot next year,” said Department of Education and Early Learning Director Dwane Chappelle, “Family Child Care Providers serve a very important role in Seattle’s early learning network and learning how to best support their work through the Seattle Preschool Program is essential.”
The Request for Investment, which was issued earlier this year, sought organizations with significant experience in family child care who also work with publicly-sponsored early learning programs. Child Care Resources is an established organization, equipped structurally to serve as a Hub organization. Tiny Tots ELC is a start-up partnership with the non-profit Voices of Tomorrow, an organization that has been recognized for their work with East African Family Child Care Providers, and Tiny Tots a current ECEAP provider.
The City of Seattle is unique in implementing this pilot as other cities do not generally include family child care within their preschool programs. Over 300 Seattle Family Child Care Providers are small business owners—many of whom are women and business owners of color with a strong track record of providing child care in historically underserved communities.
DEEL finalized the policies for the pilot program in Fall of 2016 after conducting a racial equity toolkit analysis with a focused community outreach process. The toolkit found that Family Child Care Providers are a vital network for children and families of color, particularly immigrant and refugee families. Nearly a third of Family Child Care Providers in Seattle list a language other than English as their primary language. Geographically, a number of Family Child Care Providers are located and cluster near or within large Seattle Housing Authority developments.
The pilot is slated to run over the next two school years. All family child care participants in the pilot will implement the Seattle Preschool Program program standards, which includes participation in the SPP program evaluation.