Early experiences influence rapid brain development and set a foundation for lifelong success.
Children are constantly learning from the moment they are born. A young child's brain grows to 90% of its capacity by age five (80% by age three). A child’s earliest experiences – before they even enter school – can determine their ability to succeed for the rest of their lives.
In Lewis County, only 56% of children enter Kindergarten ready to learn.
This is our greatest challenge AND our greatest opportunity.
United Way of Lewis County and our community partners are committed to ensuring every child in Lewis County has access to high-quality early learning experiences.
A student not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade is 4 times more likely to drop out of high school. Add poverty into the mix and that same student is 6 times more likely not to finish high school.
Research shows that children whose parents have low skill levels have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading level themselves.
In Lewis County, the number of child care providers has dropped from 54 with capacity for 1,113 children in 2013, to 46 providers with capacity for 1,264 children in December 2017. (CLICK HERE for Child Care Aware of Washington report)
On average, the cost of child care for families in Lewis County represents 35% of their budget.*
Our Early Childhood Education partners:
- Parents As Teachers - Community Youth Services
- In-Tot Developmental program - Reliable Enterprises
- Lewis County Head Start
- Centralia College ECEAP
- Boys & Girls Club of Chehalis
- Lewis County Early Learning Coalition
Early Learning Opportunities | United Way of Lewis County
Reading Buddy Program - volunteer opportunity
"If we invest in programs that promote learning beginning at birth, the statistics will change, our stories will change, our future will change. Change the first five years and you change everything."
* 2018 Child Care Affordability in Washington State | Child Care Aware of WA