Access to High-Quality Preschool

Bellevue School District’s Early Learning Program provides opportunities for children to prepare for kindergarten by practicing the skills that will help them succeed in school. The program also provides important wrap-around services, such as a “dental home” and family support services.

In June 2016, the Foundation learned ALL Head Start funding for early learning in Bellevue schools was cut—a loss of 151 early learning slots for low-income children. Bellevue Schools Foundation launched an emergency fundraising campaign to mitigate this loss for our community’s neediest young learners.

Thanks to community support and donations, and support from stakeholders, every child who registered in the fall of 2016 and who would have qualified for Head Start attended half-day preschool. They experienced high-quality early learning, nutrition, health screening, and family support services. They also made incredible progress: year-end assessments show growth in six key areas (social/emotional, cognitive, language, literacy, math, and physical) that closed achievement gaps. This growth during the time of a child’s critical brain development will make a positive and lasting impact on their lives. Research shows life benefits include improved graduation rates, incomes, and health.

The need continues, and Bellevue Schools Foundation has committed $75,000 for the 2017–18 school year, to fund tuition-free slots for low-income children to access high-quality early learning that makes a difference in the rest of their school career.

Local News coverage of Early Learning