About Support for Early Learning & Families

What Does Support for Early Learning and Families Do?

About Support for Early Learning & Families

Support for Early Learning & Families serves the children and families of Southwest Washington through advocacy and partnerships at the local and state levels to provide quality child care and early learning opportunities for all. We’ve done this work for more than 20 years, and will continue in order to ensure every child in our community thrives.

This 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan movement insists on a strong start for ALL children in Southwest Washington. How? By bringing together all of the sectors that touch early childhood, including health care, early childhood educators, human and social services, K-12 school districts, the private sector, and families. Together we create a common place to focus efforts, resources and strategies with a shared purpose.

After all, an early childhood system goes far beyond schools and education.

We achieve impact throughout Southwest Washington:

  • By educating and empowering community members about the importance of the early years.
  • Through strategic partnerships and collaborations, envisioning and implementing new and proven strategies that will stabilize and increase access to high quality early care and education services throughout our region.
  • By encouraging elected officials, both state and local, to think of children when they vote. We advocate for needed funding and policy changes to expand and stabilize quality early care and education programs.

Rather than prescribe a one-size-fits-all model, we support communities to take stock of their strengths and assets, decide what to build on, and see where they may need new supports. Support for Early Learning & Families provides the overall vision, research and direction to ensure that existing community services are coordinated in a more direct, effective, and family-centric way. SELF is not a direct service provider, but creates collaboration and engagement among direct service providers.

Since 2018 Support for Early Learning & Families has been the agency that handles human resources for ESD 112’s child care centers. This has given SELF a first-hand look at child care issues that affect our region. Support for Early Learning & Families advocates on a statewide basis for early childhood concerns in Southwest Washington.

Here are links to a few of the initiatives we are working on:

  • The Southwest Washington Child Care Partnership
  • A Shared Services approach to child care management
  • Leadership of the Southwest Washington Early Learning Network (SWEL)
  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library affiliate in Clark, Skamania and Klickitat Counties