The Investing in Children Coalition promotes access to high-quality early learning opportunities for children and families in Kittitas and Yakima Counties. We are a collective of over 35 agencies representing work in early learning, K-12, health care, human services, higher education, and community advocacy.

Our Mission: Facilitate equitable access to high-quality early learning for all families in our communities.

Our Vision: All children are equally ready for success in school and in life.

Goals & Objectives

  • Advocate for the voices of our communities to be represented in decisions that impact families with young children.
  • Leverage relationships with service agencies to increase equitable access for families.
  • Analyze data to identify the needs of families with young children to inform our work and drive decisions.
  • Increase connections to community partners, agencies, local initiatives, and Washington Communities for Children (WCFC) to build sustainability and a viable coalition.

Our Approach:

Learn

We learn from each other and our diverse communities.

Share

We share best practices and data with our local and regional community partners and families.

Collaborate

We work with one another to support early learning and health and wellness initiatives.

Advocate

We strengthen public will at the grassroots level to advocate for the well-being of children and families with community, businesses, and government leaders.

Why Early Learning is Important:

Research has shown that children who are able to participate in early learning programs perform better throughout their years of schooling. Early learning programs focus on six areas of kindergarten readiness:

  • Social-Emotional - Children do better in school when they can regulate their emotions, establish positive relationships with others, and constructively participate in group settings.
  • Physical - The early years are important for the development of fundamental gross-motor and fine-motor skills needed to be active learners.
  • Language - Children need to understand increasingly complex language and use language to express their thoughts, ideas, needs, and feelings.
  • Cognitive - Children are more successful in school when they have positive approaches to learning, and are able to attend, engage, and persist to solve problems.
  • Literacy - A child’s progress in reading and writing is one of the best predictors of whether the child will function competently in school and in life.
  • Math - Research shows that math is the number one predictor of future success in reading and math.*

*Duncan, Greg. University of California, 2007. Early Childhood Longitudinal studies. “The strongest predictors of later achievement are school-entry math, reading, and attention skills. Early math skills have the greatest predictive power."

Early Learning Positive Outcomes

Increased

  • Employment & Wages
  • School Readiness
  • Graduation Rates
  • College Enrollment

Decreased

  • Crime
  • Delinquency
  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Drop-outs

How can you make a difference?

Investing in high quality programs for young children and their families benefits our community in the long run. The children who participate in these early learning programs are more likely to realize their full potential and contribute to a vibrant, healthy community and stronger workforce. To make sure these programs are available in our community you can:

  • Encourage policymakers to promote and support programs for healthy children and families
  • Vote for representatives who understand the importance of increased access to programs and decreased cost to families
  • Spread the word that quality early learning matters
  • Visit an early learning center to see what they’re all about
  • Contact us at forthekids@yakimavalleycf.org, or call 509-457-7616 to learn how you can participate on an Action Team