Seattle will require that all preschools participating in the new subsidized-preschool pilot program participate in Early Achievers, the state's quality rating and improvement system for child-care.
Seattle has yet to select the child-care centers that will participate in the first year of the city’s new subsidized-preschool pilot program, starting in September.
But one eligibility requirement is that each center participate in Early Achievers, the state’s quality rating and improvement system for child-care, and hold an Early Achievers rating of Level 3 or above.
As of last month, 40 centers in Seattle cleared that bar. Based on budget projections, the city expects to use 14 classrooms for the program in its first year.
There are other eligibility requirements and selection considerations. For example, each center must provide two or more classrooms, and centers that currently deliver preschool services through Head Start and similar programs will be given priority.
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Additional centers may gain Early Achievers ratings of Level 3 or above by the time the city makes its selections. For example, there are classrooms at South Shore K-8 expected to become eligible, a spokesman for Mayor Ed Murray said.
But looking at the 40 with that rating offers a snapshot of the centers that might be eligible for the new program if the city were to make the selections today.
Those centers are well distributed across Seattle, giving coverage to most of the city. But some areas have more than others.
Twenty seven of the 40 are located south of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. None are in Ballard and only one is in West Seattle. Three are in North Beacon Hill, however, and three more are in the White Center area.
Murray’s administration released its Seattle Preschool Program implementation plan last month.
Voters last year approved a $58 million property-tax levy to pay for a four-year pilot. The program will subsidize children on a sliding scale based on their household income.