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Our grantee in the state of Washington, Children’s Alliance, is a multi-issue advocacy organization working to ensure that laws, policies and programs work for kids. Their overall goal is to promote positive early learning outcomes for children through effective policy advocacy, with specific emphasis on improvements for populations of children at risk of not being school-ready. Children’s Alliance leads a coalition of 125 organizations across the state, and collectively, they hold state leaders accountable until they secure the resources required to make all children safe and healthy.

Children's Alliance Washington Early Childhood Policy
2020 State Policy Environment and Progress

State early childhood policy progress is dependent both on the state’s policy environment and the numerous efforts — by those listed on this page and many others — who worked both independently and collaboratively to achieve wins for young children.

Advocacy Landscape:

Children's Alliance Washington Early Childhood Policy
Early Learning Action Alliance Washington

2020 Policy Environment and Progress:

Estimated FY20 State General Fund Expenditures

House (D), Senate (D),
Governor (D)

256,291 Young Children (0-8) are Below 200% FPL

The 2020 session ended before the lockdown. Allies achieved some successes at the legislature, yet the governor vetoed the bills, and funding for others has been held up. Advocacy in Washington helped stave off several other potential vetoes. Washington now faces a three-year $9-billion budget deficit and the potential for extensive cuts to early learning in upcoming sessions.

The priorities signed into law will help communities respond to COVID-19. However, these improvements were sorely needed before the crisis, and they are insufficient on their own to provide for the needs of children and families.

State Budget Data: National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), “Table 4: Fiscal 2020 State General Fund, Estimated (Millions); The Fiscal Survey of the States.” Spring, 2020

Low-Income Data (including disaggregation by race): National Center for Children in Poverty, “NCCP Analysis of ACS 1-year Estimates—Public Use Microdata Sample, 2019.”

State Action Data: Provided by state advocates, October-November 2020, with analysis and synthesis by Frontera Strategy for Alliance for Early Success, “Protecting Progress and Investing in Scale: The 2020 50-State Progress Report on Early Childhood Education Policy.”

Additional State Actions: Mincic, Melissa,  Early Care and Education, State Budget Actions, Fiscal Year 2020. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), October 2020. 



Top Alliance Grant Priorities for 2021

Prevent devastating cuts to the early learning system (including home visiting) from the fiscal fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, while advocating for revenue that can support the rebuilding of a stronger, comprehensive, and equitable statewide early care and education system.

Increase Working Connections Child Care subsidy rates and increase the number of families who can access subsidy.

Continue advocacy to improve the quality of and access to pre-k by increasing state investments until the ECEAP program reaches entitlement of all eligible 3- and 4-year-olds by the 2022-2023 school year.

Adopt a comprehensive compensation plan and wage scale for the state’s early childhood workforce and advance other policies that support the recruitment and retention of a diverse, highly competent, and well compensated early learning workforce.

More from Washington:

The Alliance for Early Success is achieving large-scale, long-lasting change for the state’s young children by providing our allies with powerful advantages that help them shape Washington early childhood policy.