Re: “For kindergartners, a big day” (TNT, 9-6).
Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WAKIDS) is a great transition-to-school program for new kindergartners across Washington state. One thing the program is still missing, however, is the unique perspective child-care providers can contribute.
Many children come to elementary school on the first day already having had “early childhood education” with Head Start, Early Head Start, ECEAP (Washington’s Head Start equivalent), or child care in a licensed family home or child-care center.
According to our data, approximately 175,000 children are in child care on any given day in Washington. The providers who care for these children – sometimes since birth – can share with kindergarten teachers so much knowledge about the children, their learning styles, where they excel and where they might need extra help.
The state Department of Early Learning is working with Thrive by Five Washington, Child Care Aware of Washington and many other groups to figure out how best to include child-care providers in this exciting new effort to help children make a successful transition to kindergarten and beyond. We are excited to be part of this important work and encourage all parents of kindergartners to invite their child-care providers to participate in these conversations with their child’s new teacher.
(Moss is deputy director of Child Care Aware of Washington.)