Children can thrive when they have access to early education and intervention supports. However, we know some children don’t have equitable access these opportunities due to racial inequity and under-resourcing.
That’s why the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is partnering with Enterprise Community Partners to invest in early education so young people, regardless of race or place, have access to opportunities that help them live to their full potential. Through Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account (PSTAA) funds, we are distributing $1.5 million into capital grants in 2022.
Enterprise Community Partners launched a Request for Proposal (RFP) with funding from the PSTAA General Child Care Facilities Fund (GCCFF) funds. Given that the Thanksgiving holiday impacted the already short timeline, Enterprise extended the deadline from November 30 to December 7. Organizations can apply here by December 7.
About the General Child Care Facilities Fund
The GCCFF is designed to support investment in early learning programs. It will provide resources to renovate existing, center-based facilities. Additionally, it will invest in partnerships that result in the construction of new facilities. Under this fund, PSTAA dollars will be used for renovation, expansion, purchase, long-term lease, or new construction, including associated activities such as planning, feasibility and pre-design work.
Proposals including the following requirements need apply:
- Construction of new childcare facilities or the expansion of existing childcare facilities.
- Predevelopment funding, renovation funds of existing facilities or construction funding for new facilities
- Located within King County
PSTAA Early Learning Facilities Strategy
PSTAA investments in early learning facilities are intended to increase access to high-quality early learning opportunities by preserving, improving, and expanding early learning facilities King County. There will be a two-pronged approach for achieving these outcomes:
1) Reduce educational achievement gaps for the priority populations by ensuring that more children develop the physical, behavioral, and cognitive abilities to thrive in kindergarten; and
2) Expand and strengthen the early learning system in King County by providing resources to family child care homes and larger, standalone centers alike.
PSTAA is a funding stream for King County that resulted from State revenues collected from Sound Transit 3-related construction. Following several years of community-driven work, a plan outlining the strategies for investment of PSTAA proceeds was approved by King County Council in September 2020.
Between 2019 and 2034, DCHS expects to receive $318 million in PSTAA funds. Per King County Council’s directive, these funds will support investment in early learning facilities, K-12 community-based supports as well as college, career, and technical education.
With this investment, DCHS aims to promote equitable outcomes in education by investing in Early Learning Facilities for the youngest learners in our region; a King County Promise strategy to support older youth through postsecondary completion; and pilot project called Love and Liberation, which helps Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth strengthen their sense of racial and/or ethnic identity.
Read an overview of our PSTAA strategies on our blog!