About Early Achievers
A QUALITY RATING AND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM FOR WASHINGTON STATE
Funded by the WA Department of Early Learning, the Federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant and the recently funded Early Start Act, Early Achievers is a QRIS program where the main goal is to increase the number of high quality early learning programs in Washington State.
This investment in high quality early intervention is based on research that shows that the early childhood period is characterized by tremendous learning and brain growth and that exposure to high quality care and education is essential to optimizing development.
EA is a voluntary program. Programs who choose to become Early Achievers participants benefit from access to supports and resources grounded in early care research and best practices. Over the months it takes to work through EA and receive their rating, programs make improvements in many aspects of their programs such as classroom environment, communication with families, teacher training and adult-child conversations and interactions.
How Early Achievers Helps Schools, Families and Children
BENEFITS FOR EARLY LEARNING SERVICES
Though Early Achievers can be time consuming and rigorous process, it is beneficial. The process of reviewing your processes for starters will undoubtedly help you see ways to improve your service.
hile some of the ways to improve ratings can be expensive, staff training for instance, a significant amount of ratings points are available for changes like improving family collaboration and engagement. This is an inexpensive change that can be achieved with family engagement software that not only helps your Early Achiever rating, it also will improve parent satisfaction with your school.
In addition, participating in Early Achievers qualifies your school to ongoing coaching, consultation and technical support in program design, instruction and management. There are also subsidies available for center materials and improvements.
Washington State early learning teachers are provided with many opportunities for professional development along with scholarship opportunities for continuing education within the field of early childhood education.
BENEFITS FOR FAMILIES
Early Achievers provides Washington State families with an objective rating system that helps them to find high-quality child care.
This information is shared in a database of ECE providers which can be found here.
This information is a tremendous resource for working families as many report that finding quality child care is an incredibly challenging and stressful task. Without a rating system like EA in place, it is very difficult for parents to assess whether a program is high quality since there is often little information available to families other than word of mouth or occasional reviews on the internet.
When comparing programs, the EA rating system gives families assurance that objective measures of quality have been met.
BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN
Young children learn best when they engage in a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and have warm, caring relationships and meaningful interactions and conversations with their teachers.
The primary goal of Early Achievers, and hopefully, its most profound benefit, is that every child enrolled in a Washington state early care and education program will receive the highest quality of nurturing, responsive, individualized care and education in their early years. This enhances children’s development and lays a strong foundation for learning throughout their lives.