Category: Birth to Thrive Blog

All children deserve the best start in life and school possible — and we all benefit when they get it. They’re healthier, more successful in school and more engaged and productive in society and life. Five years ago, Washington released a 10-Year Early Learning Plan to help us build a high-quality early learning system that[…..]

  By Jill Johnson Community-Minded Enterprises   A year in the making and worth every minute, the Spokane County Library District‘s STEM Kits are here! Almost.   Wednesday, Oct. 21, volunteers assembled the STEM kits, some 300 in all. The kits were made possible by a grant from Thrive Washington.   The official name of[…..]

Last week, Tennessee released a less-than-glowing report of its state-funded pre-K program for children from low-income families. The multi-year study found that children started off school strong, but by kindergarten weren’t much different than their peers who didn’t attend the program. Nothing changed by third grade.   Other states are studying their own programs and[…..]

Washington state’s work in early learning during the last decade has been an incredible story, defined by its success building high-quality systems of child care and preschool and its emergence as a national leader in early education. I have been lucky to cover this story for Thrive Washington, the breakthroughs in research and practices, impressive[…..]

Home visiting is a powerful investment and a proven strategy for strengthening families. It creates better futures TWO generations at a time. And it’s key to Washington state having a high-quality early learning system. Today, 250 home visitors from all over the state have come together for the first Home Visiting Summit. Three years in[…..]

Gov. Jay Inslee has chosen Rep. Ross Hunter, a 13-year legislator with experience in the public and private sectors, to lead Washington’s Department of Early Learning as the state opens a new chapter of its early education work. Hunter starts Sept. 8 and will earn $150,000 a year. A former PTA activist, Hunter brings a[…..]

We are in the final days of summer, and this fall holds the promise of important developments in early learning in the other Washington, and here in Washington state.   Earlier this year, the U.S. House and Senate may have surprised more than a few people by passing different versions of legislation that would change[…..]

Is it possible early learning could become an important campaign issue?   In recent weeks, early learning has popped up on the campaign trail and in the media. In the presidential primaries, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton proposed a plan last Friday to help student parents afford child care, The Washington Post reports. On Tuesday, a[…..]

Child care can be expensive, and its cost is a stark reminder of the importance of building high-quality early learning systems.   In Washington state, parents paid, on average, $12,733 a year for infant care at centers, and $9,588 for center-based preschool, Child Care Aware of America reports in its “Child Care in America: 2015[…..]

Research is helping to shape a new vision of early education, and a new set of studies are showing that social-emotional development and reading to your kids should be important parts of that vision.   Reading to Young Children Many parents, for example, know reading to their kids is a good thing. Now, a new[…..]