There are 21,000 young children in North Central Washington, but the region’s current licensed child care availability only meets the needs of approximately 33% of these children whose parents are in the workforce and need care.

Access to affordable and quality early childhood care and education has been a consistent challenge for the North Central Washington region, but the COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially created larger gaps in the system.

Join the Apple STEM Network, North Central Educational Service District, and other state and regional agencies on June 14 for a community conversation about the current state of early childhood learning and care in our region.

Parents, childcare providers, community members, and other stakeholders are invited to be part of the conversation as we discuss the recent State of the Children report published by Washington STEM, North Central Early Learning Collaborative, and Washington Communities for Children.

Early childhood care and learning opportunities impacts our entire region, and we believe every member of the community has something to contribute and something to learn.

By age five, 90% of a child’s brain has developed. Investing in high-quality early childhood education builds the foundation for future learning, behavior, and health. We must focus on policies and program that promote access, affordability, and quality for the 21,000 young children in our region.

13% of licensed child care capacity was temporarily lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shut down as of June 2020.

For every $1 invested in high-quality care in the early years of life there is a more than $7 return in terms of dollars saved on later interventions and upward mobility in adulthood.

The medium income of a family in North Central Washington is $54,477. The typical cost of child care is $8,203. The average family in our region pays 15% of their income for one child in child care.

State of the Children Report

In partnership with Washington Communities for Children, Washington STEM released the State of the Children: Early Learning & Care report series which provides an in-depth (and regional) look at the health of our early learning and child care systems.

The North Central region report highlights:

  • Economic Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Economic Impact on Employers
  • Economic Impact for Child Care Programs as Small Businesses
  • Economic Impact on Families
  • Early Learning Workforce
  • Access, Affordability, and Quality in Early Care & Education


Monday, June 14, 2021

5:30pm – 7:30pm


Online via Zoom


Free event for the community

Who Should Attend

  • Parents
  • Early Childcare Providers
  • Employers
  • State/Federal Agencies
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Interested Community Members

Spanish translation will be available.

Evening Agenda

5:30pm Welcome and Introductions

5:40pm Unpackign the North Central Washington State of the Children report and regional WaKIDS data

6:10pm Breakout sessions by county

6:40pm Examples of cross sector partnerships and potential funding stress to address the crisis

7:00pm Break out sessions role in the community

7:20pm Debrief & Closing Questions