Draft of early-learning plan delivered to governor

December 29, 2009

By Staff

Education and policy leaders submitted a draft plan to get early learning education on track in the state Dec. 1.The plan, built by the Department of Early Learning, state Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Office and Thrive by Five Washington, a public-private partnership of education and business leaders, creates a system that ensures school readiness and success of children, birth through third grade.

The draft was given to Gov. Chris Gregoire after she requested it be created.

The plan includes recommendations, strategies and a plan for implementation that could begin as early as the coming year.

“The time is right,” said Bette Hyde, director for the Department of Early Learning. “We have a governor who clearly prioritizes our youngest learners, and communities who understand the incredible amount of growth and development that happens in a child’s earliest years. This plan is a roadmap for coordinating in the services and programs that prepare all kids for school and life.”

Recommendations were built around five key areas:

  • Ready and successful children: All children must have affordable optimal physical, mental and oral health, and nutrition, and must have had developmentally appropriate social and emotional growth and education.
  • Ready and successful parents, families and caregivers: Groups and individuals supporting children’s growth must have access to educational resources, training and must have a voice in shaping policies and systems that affect children.
  • Ready and successful early-learning professionals: A fully-developed quality rating and improvement system will be in place to monitor early learning and school-age providers. All families will have access to affordable, quality early-education programs for their children.
  • Ready and successful schools: Schools are ready for children to learn and capable of preparing children to maximize their individual gifts and needs, level of knowledge, skills, social-emotional and physical development, and their cultural background and language.
  • Ready and successful system and communities: The early-learning system in Washington will use evidence-based and/or demonstrated best practices to support families in fostering children’s healthy development and learning.

See the draft plan and recommendations at www.del.wa.gov/partnerships/elac/elp.aspx.

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