Update on Thrive’s Future

October 10, 2018

 

Dear Friends of Thrive:

Over the past 12 years, Thrive Washington has been a leader and key player in our state’s early learning system. As the public-private partnership for early learning and the state agency’s innovative ally and critical friend, Thrive helped develop the state’s early learning plan and tested what is now the state’s quality rating and improvement system for child care. We led the exponential growth of the state’s home visiting portfolio and created a team to ensure grantees had the support needed to deliver on their promise to families.

 

We brought together early learning regional coalitions to create, collaborate and advocate with a commitment to racial equity and bipartisan solutions. We increased public awareness, parent engagement and business excitement. And we helped some of our state’s most vulnerable communities amplify their voices and build the capacity to offer high-quality early learning services.

 

We are immensely proud of our significant contributions to Washington’s youngest children and their families.

 

But just as children change — because growth demands it — so now must Thrive.

 

After conversations with partners and a comprehensive assessment, the Thrive Board of Trustees and senior staff considered several ways to best secure a strong future for its home visiting and advocacy work. We remained open to what Thrive as an organization could look like and focused on what our state’s youngest children and their families need.

 

We determined that recent statewide changes in funding and other programs, including the creation of the new state Department of Children, Youth and Families and the launch of the new Washington Communities for Children, required a new approach.

 

The Board has decided that Thrive will look for a trusted partner or partners to take on and ensure continued success of its home visiting and advocacy work.

 

Criteria for potential partners and a process for reaching out is being developed. The desire is to secure a new home for the Home Visiting Hub and advocacy by June 2019. Until then, we have an approved budget and will deliver on all work as planned. Supporting our staff and our grantees during this period of change is a top priority.

 

We welcome your input, appreciate your support and remain committed to transparency during this process.

 

The board will continue to gather input and insights from staff, partners and other key stakeholders about potential partner organizations to ensure the right long-term fit. We invite you to ask clarifying questions and share your concerns, so that our final choices best support Washington state’s early learning community, young children and families.

 

As you can imagine, this has been an extremely difficult decision for us because there is still so much to do to ensure every child gets a great start in life. But, we know this is the right decision, and we believe this change may help the work grow stronger and better support child outcomes.

 

We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with all of you. We will provide updates when there is more information to share.

 

Warmly,

 

Don Stark
Chair, Board of Trustees