Early learning facilities in Washington are in short supply, especially for low-income families. The Washington State Department of Commerce has decided to supplement this shortage by awarding over $5.6 million to early learning providers across the state.

“Access to early learning strengthens communities by providing opportunities for every child to thrive,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the Department of Commerce. “Commerce is thrilled to partner with the Department of Children, Youth and Families to make more resources available for facilities to serve children across the state.”

Grants were awarded to 17 state-licensed facilities through a competitive process facilitated by Commerce and the Department of Children, Youth and Families. Funding can be implemented to develop, renovate, or purchase early learning facilities.

“High-quality early learning can’t happen if programs don’t have great classrooms,” said Ross Hunter, secretary of the Department of Children, Youth and Families. “I’m pleased that these grants will help over 850 more children be ready for kindergarten and protect slots for another 136 from disappearing. This is a great first step toward solving a capacity shortage.”

The following organizations received grants:

Facilities pre-design grants:

  • Bellingham Technical College – Bellingham – $10,000
  • Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation – Cusick – $10,000
  • Okanogan County Child Development Association – Omak – $10,000
  • Opportunity Council Deemer Road Early Learning Facility – Bellingham – $10,000
  • Opportunity Council Villa Santa Fe Early Learning Facility – Bellingham – $10,000
  • Tulalip Tribes of Washington – Tulalip – $10,000
  • Whatcom Family YMCA – Bellingham – $10,000

Renovation/construction/purchasing facilities grants:

  • Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center – Tacoma – $800,000 – 251 slots
  • Learning Land Kent Campus – Kent – $500,000 – 80 slots
  • YMCA of Greater Seattle – Redmond – $647,820 – 124 slots
  • Chelan Douglas Child Services Association – Wenatchee – $800,000 – 64 slots
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center – Spokane – $175,000 – 20 slots
  • Skagit Valley College – Mount Vernon – $800,000 – 50 slots
  • Family Support Center of South Sound – Olympia – $800,000 – 108 slots
  • Centralia College – Centralia – $800,000 – 96 slots
  • Squaxin Island Child Development Center/Squaxin Island Tribe – Shelton – $73,300 – 10 slots

Thumbnail of photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.