Circle Time

Child Care Resources Newsletter - Summer 2016

Circle Time: noun 1. a time in which young children sit together and share news and stories

Quick Links:
A Safe Place for Homeless Children
Deeann's Desknote
Creating Career Opportunities
Staff Spotlight - Theressa Lenear
Why I Give - Nanny & Ken Stephens
CCR Events
Family Child Care Conference

A Safe Place to Grow and Learn

Families experiencing homelessness face extraordinary challenges every day; looking for permanent housing, finding jobs, and securing food with little or no resources.  Homeless families with young children deal with the added worry of how living in unpredictable circumstances affects a child’s learning and growth.  Research proves that disruptions in a child’s physical environment and interpersonal relationships can be harmful to healthy development.

The data is staggering. Significant numbers of infants, toddlers and preschoolers do not have reliable places to call home - 40% of homeless children in shelters are under the age of four, with even more children and their families living in their cars or with friends. 

High-quality child care buffers the strain of living with homelessness; serving as a reprieve for homeless children, a consistent place to nap, eat predictable meals (breakfast, lunch and snacks) and develop a sense of belonging.  Stability, a nurturing caregiver, a safe environment and quality early learning prepare all children to start school ready to learn.  These factors play an even more pivotal role in a homeless child’s readiness for school.

Child Care Resources’ Homeless Child Care Program, the only one of its kind in King County, occupies a critical place in the support services available for families experiencing homelessness. For more than 13 years, we have provided short-term child care payments and coordination of resources for families, as well as coaching and support for child care providers to successfully navigate the complexities of working with these vulnerable families.

Child care provides predictability for children

A recent job loss and poor employment prospects brought Kenneth, Angela and their family from Minnesota to Seattle in search of better opportunities. However, finding steady jobs and a place to call home proved difficult in the fast-paced Puget Sound area. With money running out and no support network, they soon found themselves homeless. A local shelter program located temporary housing for them - a motel room in north Seattle with their four young children (ages 9, 3, 2 and 1) and another on the way. Although grateful for the safe, dry place for their family to re-group, a cramped motel room was not ideal for a growing family. 

The motel room had been home base for a few weeks when they reached out to CCR’s Homeless Child Care program for help. CCR’s staff identified a family child care near their motel, and enrolled and paid for the three youngest children to attend. Knowing that the children were well cared for allowed Angela to go to her medical appointments and tend to the family’s various needs. Angela happily reports the kids are even getting along better with each other. With a stable environment, a community to call their own and the opportunity to be in an age-appropriate setting, all of the children are thriving. Stable child care and a loving caregiver also give the children a consistent and nurturing place to learn and develop, trying out new social and problem solving skills.

CCR’s Homeless Program meets the challenge of finding and paying for short-term child care for families like Kenneth and Angela’s every day - with more than 500 families receiving services through the program annually.   Each story is different, but CCR’s goal is the same - to ensure all children have access to quality early education regardless of their family situation.

Thank you RealNetworks Foundation!

Thanks so much to the RealNetworks Foundation for their ongoing support of our Homeless Child Care Program. We are so grateful for 7+ years of partnership!

Pictured left - CEO, Deeann Burtch Puffert receives the donation from Tim Lloyd of the RealNetwords grant review team.

Happy May!

I hope you have been enjoying our unusually sunny and warm spring weather. I recently returned from a conference in Washington D.C. where the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. It was spectacular! While in D.C. I spent a day visiting our state’s legislators all of whom were excited to talk about the importance of Early Learning. Each expressed pride in representing the State of Washington because of our state’s sizable investment in supporting our state’s youngest learners. 

I walked away from the day so proud to be a Washingtonian, but upon landing in Seattle was immediately reminded that despite some significant wins we still have a ways to go. Every day on my drive to work, I see evidence of the homelessness challenge in our community. I know that families raising young children are living in many of those cars and tents along my route and that they are often overlooked in the homelessness conversation. 

If you remember, shortly after the civil homeless emer-gency announcement last fall, CCR’s Homeless Child Care Program, the only program of its kind in King County, lost 50% of its funding ($500,000) effective February 1, 2016. I am relieved and grateful to report that with support from our community and government partners, we secured enough funding to keep our program intact for the 2016 calendar year. However, the need for funding remains as we continue to uncover sustainable dollars for 2017 and beyond. We feel confident that we will be able to maintain support for families in the multi-pronged ways we have been for 13 years

The work to help our youngest, most vulnerable children continues. Thank you for celebrating our wins on behalf of young children and for supporting the impactful work that is still before us. As always, call or email me any time.

Until next time,

Yolina's Opportunity 

Getting dirty. Climbing trees. Many of Yolina’s happiest child-hood memories come from days spent running through the woods near her home. Two family matriarchs, her grandma and auntie, played a big part in Yolina’s interest in working with children; from them she learned patience and nurturing and developed a strong work ethic.  Most importantly, they taught her never to give up—whether reaching for the highest branch or realizing a dream.

Life has not always been easy.  At times Yolina has lived paycheck-to-paycheck with her two children, lived in a homeless shelter, and cared for her ill aunt. Through each of these challenges, Yolina held onto her goal of building a career working with children.

Opportunity knocked when she met Trudy Mossop, who manages the Child Care Resources Careers program, at a Seattle Housing Authority event that connects Seattle Housing residents with community organizations to develop new skills to find better jobs. CCR’s Child Care Careers program trains and certifies child care providers for work in the early learning field—increasing the pool of trained child care providers and expanding culturally relevant child care options for families.

During the 12-week program students receive comprehensive training and complete an internship at a licensed child care center. Curious and attentive in class, Yolina excelled in the Careers program and now works at Causey’s Learning Center as a teaching assistant. Her Child Care Careers instructor reflected, “She brought a great positive presence that I’m sure is translating into her work with young children.”  Determined to keep moving forward, Yolina plans to continue her education and work toward a degree in early childhood education; she may even open her own child care business one day. “I’m happy working with children.  It doesn’t feel like work.  I want to do well at it because it is important work.”

Meet Theressa Lenear

Theressa is a Manager of Professional Development and has been with CCR for almost 24 years.

What you’re working on:

Our team coordinates professional development opportunities for child care providers with special focus on Early Achievers standards and content that is relevant to the diverse children, families and communities we serve.

Favorite thing about your job:

At the core of my work is our vision that every child deserves a great start in school and life.  My mantra is all children should be visible, valued and validated - every day. I love knowing that ultimately it is the children who benefit from my work with child care providers.

A recent challenge in your work:

An ongoing challenge in my work is eliminating the inequities within the early learning field.  CCR takes this challenge to heart and puts creating equitable early learning environments for all children at the center of the conversation.

My favorite children’s book:

My favorite children’s book is Ellington was not a Street. The story reminds me of growing up listening to the kings and queens of jazz, like Duke Ellington and Dinah Washington, on the old 78 records while my parents held meetings at our home to organize against the segregation and acts of racism happening in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Meet Nanny and Ken Stephens

"Nanny’s Preschool has been our life’s work for the past 27 years. We believe that quality early education is the rebar in the foundation of a child’s life.

We have partnered with CCR for 15 years because we share their mission and know that they will be thoughtful and effective stewards of our contributions."

After discovering CCR’s Homeless Child Care Program crowdfunding campaign last winter, the youth group at the Chinese Baptist Church on Beacon Hill selected the program as the beneficiary of their annual fundraising dinner on April 30th. Thank you to Erin Welch and the entire Homeless team for their amazing work that catches the attention of generous supporters like this inspiring group of teens.

To host your own community event, please see our fundraising kit. 

  • Careers Class Graduations - Tues, June 14th in Kent or Thurs, July 14th in Seattle To attend, please contact Susann
  • Bellevue Family Day - Saturday, July 23rd, 10-5, Join friends of CCR at KidsQuest Children's Museum in Factoria Mall and get two-for-one admission. 
  • Tacoma Family Day - Saturday, August 13th, Stop by the Children’s Museum of Tacoma to meet our staff, play in the museum, and receive discounts at the Museum of Glass and Hello, Cupcake
  • CCR Annual Benefit Luncheon - Monday, Oct 24th, Seattle Marriott Waterfront

For more information contact events (@)

More than 80 family child care providers learned about the importance of resilience in themselves and the children in their care at CCR’s Family Child Care Conference on April 30th.

Here’s how one provider described how their work has improved the experience of a child in their care over time:

“Giving increased attention to a non-English speaking child has helped her calm down, trust and become a good learner in class.  But, I have a long way to go to encourage participation with larger groups of kids.”




Learn More...

It’s a great time to be in Early Achievers!

Early Achievers has been updated, simplified, and improved overall and it is here to stay!  It has been fully-funded and written into state law with passage of the Early Start Act this summer. In King and Pierce Counties alone, we have over 1,000 participating licensed facilities, serving 26,000 children!  Of those participating facilities, 320 (and counting) have already been rated.  Early Achievers is beneficial for children, because it highlights what children need in their child care setting to not only be successful now, but to thrive later on in school and in life.

Early Achievers offers an exciting menu of supports and incentives to participants:

  • Scholarships
  • Grant money available. Act now, this funding is limited!
  • Free resources and STARS training
  • Increased Working Connections Child Care subsidy reimbursement rates
  • Early Achievers ratings displayed on Child Care Check for parents to search
  • Onsite technical assistance and rating readiness consultation
  • Personalized coaching
  • Financial awards

Here's how Early Achievers has had a positive impact on one child care program:

“Participating in Early Achievers has given me the opportunity to stretch and grow. This experience has given me the tools, knowledge, and confidence to make changes in my family child care.” ~ Deborah K. Hayford, Family Child Care Provider

Sign up for an Early Achievers Orientation today to see if the program is right for you!

Learn More...

The Science of Child Development

The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington is leading the way in research on early brain development. They are building an online library of resources for early learning professionals, parents, caregivers, policymakers, and interested community members. CCR is excited to partner with I-LABS to share this critical early learning information with the families and child care providers that we engage with every day. 

Each online module explores a specific topic in early brain science, such as imitation and language acquisition, and nests it within the larger landscape of child development.  All modules are free and are designed to be appropriate for use in everyday interactions with children, as well as for informing system-level programs and policies.

The library of online training modules can be viewed at

You can also learn about exciting research being done at I-LABS by joining them for a tour to see the only MEG Brain Imaging machine that records brain activity in infants during real-time interactions.

Photo credit Institute for Learning and Brain Science / University of Washington

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New Child Care Careers Graduates

Careers program graduates ready to be hired!

Since 1998 the Child Care Careers Program has provided intensive skills-building and support for participants to build sustainable careers in early education and care. Participants engage in 12 weeks of rigorous, focused instruction that far exceeds minimum state early learning licensing requirements. Fall 2015 program participants have graduated and are looking for employment in child care centers or family child care homes as high quality early childhood educators. We would like to congratulate 2 Fall program participants who have already been hired by their internship sites! Generous funding from United Way of King County as well as private funders allows us to provide this course FREE of charge to qualifying participants. Learn more…

Careers program graduates have completed:

  • 30 Hrs. STARS Child Care Basics Certification
  • 3 month Child Care Training Internship at a licensed child care facility
  • Department of Early Learning Cleared Portable Background Check
  • Adult, Infant, & Child First Aid/CPR/Bloodborne Pathogens Certification

Child Care Careers graduates increase the availability of high quality, culturally-relevant early education and care in King County. Careers class participants are immigrants and refugees who speak another language in addition to English, so they can enhance the diversity of languages that your young children are exposed to in your care setting, supporting early brain growth. 

The Winter 2016 Child Care Careers class has begun at Seattle Goodwill Training & Education Center. In February we will be starting a specialized Child Care Careers cohort in partnership with the Refugee Resettlement Office, specifically targeting refugees who are interested in opening their own family home child care businesses. We are currently recruiting refugee participants who have been in the USA for less than 5 years and are interested in opening their own family home child care business for this new project.

Child Care Centers or Family Home Child Care Providers interested in hiring a Child Care Careers Graduate or hosting a Child Care Careers student intern should email Trudy Mossop or call 206-329-1011 ext. 287

Read the story about Careers program graduate Rasha Ibrahim in the Highline Times

To invest in our community and continue this great work, please consider Joining the Effort and Donate Now

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Welcome to Child Care Resources

Since 1990, Child Care Resources has helped to build a strong early learning system for all children in King County. We work with families, caregivers and early learning professionals, and collaborate with community partners to ensure that every child has a great start.

We are a trusted resource for families seeking child care in Washington State. Our team of experts is available by phone or email to help families explore their early learning options and to make informed choices about this important decision.

We partner with early learning professionals in King and Pierce Counties as they develop high-quality care. Through coaching and professional development, we help early learning teachers increase the quality of care available for all children.

We are a collaborator, advocate and data resource in our community, ensuring everyone understands the value of early learning and growing support for key policies that support quality early learning.

To meet or contact one of our wonderful staff, you can view our directory. To view a downloadable version of our brochure, click here

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