Since February of 2007, a group of community organizations, individuals, and early learning providers has been meeting regularly to develop a coordinated plan for early learning services in Pierce County. Through many working groups, drafts, and edits, we have developed a business plan for an early learning system in pierce County. This plan consists of strategies to reach children ages birth through 5 years in a variety of ways:
› At home and at Family, Friends, and Neighbors (FFN)
› Licensed Child Care
› ECEAP / Head Start
› Kindergartens / Schools
Through a lot of successful fund raising, many of the services and strategies outlined in the business plan have begun to take shape. In most cases, the funding is being used to enhance and add to current services that we know are working, but which have limited access. Initially, services will start in Clover Park, Franklin Pierce, Bethel, and Tacoma school district areas. These areas were chosen because they contain the highest number of elementary schools with free and reduced lunch rates. Through additional fund-raising, we hope to eventually expand services to the whole county.
The Licensed Child Care strategy offers many great services to child care providers who reside in the school districts mentioned above. There will be enhanced professional development opportunities for both Child Care Centers and Family Child Care providers. This will be accomplished through a partnership between Washington Scholarships for Child Care Professionals, Child Care Resource & Referral, the Puget Sound Educational Service District, Bates Technical College, Tacoma Community College, Pierce College, and Clover Park Technical College.
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» Click here to read the First 5 FUNdamentals Business Plan