Department of Commerce awards $5.6 million to increase number of early learning facilities

Expanding opportunities for low-income children leads to better health, success in school, lifetime resilience

OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce has awarded over $5.6 million to 17 state-licensed early learning providers across the state. The grants will help address a severe shortage of early learning facilities across the state and increase opportunities for low-income children.

Grants were awarded through a competitive process led by Commerce and the Department of Children, Youth and Families. Funds can be used to plan, renovate, construct or purchase early learning facilities.

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

“Access to early learning strengthens communities by providing opportunities for every child to thrive. 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,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the Department of Commerce.

“High-quality early learning can’t happen if programs don’t have great classrooms. 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,” said Ross Hunter, secretary of the Department of Children, Youth and Families.

The programs receiving these funds will serve children in the Early Child Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) and/or Working Connections Child Care subsidy programs.

- Washington State Department of Commerce