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2006‐2008: Early learning becomes a statewide priority

  1. Thrive by Five Washington is created with buy‐in from business, government and philanthropic leaders, and is expected to work closely with the new Washington State Department of Early Learning, the nation’s first and only cabinet‐level early learning agency.
  2. Grants are distributed to community organizations and early learning coalitions to bolster early language and literacy skills, as well as public and parent awareness of the importance of early learning.

2009: A year marked by partnership

  1. The Washington Early Learning Partnership formally connects Thrive and the Department of Early Learning with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Together, the Partnership co‐sponsors the first Starting Strong Institute, designed to bring together child care providers, preschool teachers, parents, teachers from kindergarten through third grade and school leadership.
  2. The production of a state Early Learning Plan is co‐led by Thrive, DEL and OSPI.


2010: Groundbreaking programs and initiatives

  1. The Washington State Early Learning Plan is released with a goal to build a statewide system that supports school readiness, with a focus on children from birth through third grade.
  2. DEL contracts with Thrive to administer the Home Visiting Services Account, which matches public and private money to fund, support and evaluate evidence‐based, research‐based and promising practices in home visiting for the state’s most vulnerable families.
  3. The yearlong, statewide pilot for the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills begins. WaKIDS combines conversations between families, early learning professionals and kindergarten teachers, with a formal assessment, to help provide a smooth transition into kindergarten and a great start in school.
  4. Policy and planning work continues with the Washington State Early Learning and Development Guidelines, the Washington State Birth‐to‐3 Plan, and the Early Learning Professional Development System Report and Recommendations.
  5. Thrive completes Learning for Life, an 18‐month partnership with KING 5 TV in Seattle to raise awareness about the importance of early learning.

2011: Growth and engagement

  1. Thrive launches the “Love. Talk. Play.” campaign with partners statewide to support parents as their child’s first and most important teacher.
  2. The Home Visiting Services Account administered by Thrive receives a federal grant and serves more grantees.
  3. WaKIDS becomes the statewide kindergarten readiness assessment process and receives funding for implementation.
  4. The Early Learning Plan gains momentum with the work of Thrive and DEL to strengthen 10 regional early learning coalitions and connect their work to the plan. With the help of OSPI, the One‐Year Action Plan prioritizes the work to implement the Early Learning Plan.

2012: Purposeful expansion and focus on most vulnerable

  1. Thrive, DEL and OSPI commit to their 2012 goals with another One‐Year Action Plan, to prioritize work as part of the Early Learning Plan.
  2. Washington is awarded a three‐year, $25 million federal grant for home visiting.
  3. “Love. Talk. Play.” launches an outreach committee with a charter to focus on teen parents, the“Love. Talk. Play.” priority population.
  4. Racial equity work, in conjunction with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and state and nationalexperts, focuses on providing equal access to opportunity for all children.