Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families

Infrastructure Systems

  • Data Systems

Washington

In 2017, Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1661, creatingCreation model: A few states have looked to create new entities responsible for managing all early learning and early childhood programs across the state. These offices become executive branch entities or new departments, and they typically hold most of the early childhood programs and responsibilities the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). DCYF oversees several services previously offered through the departments of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Early Learning (DEL). These include all programs from the Children’s Administration in DSHS such as Child Protective Services’ Investigations and Family Assessment Response, licensed foster care, and adoption support. Also included are all DEL services, such as the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program for preschoolers, Working Connections Child Care, and Home Visiting.

Source:
Washington State Blue Ribbon Commission Final Report (November 8, 2016). Improving the Well-Being of Washington State’s Children, Youth and Families.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

Strong infrastructure and systems – including governance structures and data systems – are key aspects of high-quality early education and care. And research suggests there is a need for more accessible, affordable, and high-quality early education within a mixed-delivery system; strengthening infrastructure and systems is one important way states and cities can take action to address these needs and accomplish these goals.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) that connect to the need for more robust infrastructure and systems, including data systems:

  • Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
  • But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
  • No one early education setting type is inherently of higher quality than another; children develop and learn well in every setting type, and in the study, all setting types showed room to grow in quality.
  • We have learned a great deal from this groundbreaking, large-scale study. Nevertheless, there is still much to learn about what children, families, and educators need, and about what “works” – for whom and under what circumstances – across all the diverse settings where young children learn and grow.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Washington

Context matters. Visit the Washington profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the Washington Profile Here
  • The state population is 7,785,786
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 62%
  • The rural percentage is 16.6%