Thriving Communities.
Thriving Students.

A partnership of cross-sector community groups aligned to create more integrated and equitable investments for youth from cradle to career.

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Launched in July 2020, our collective work aims to strengthen each of our community’s capacity to transform political structures in favor of kids and families.

Collaboration between our respective communities, institutions, and community leaders is a necessary condition for the shifts in power and policy necessary to create upward mobility for our most marginalized communities.



Backbone organizations are the bridge between community and legislators. We are asking, listening, and learning how to best develop policy agendas that ultimately move our communities to becoming more equitable for young people to live, work, and play. Our collective work aims to:

Advocacy Priorities

The Washington Cradle to Career Advocacy Network seeks to strengthen the education continuum for all students by advocating for the following priorities in the 2021 Legislative Session:

Making childcare more affordable, available, accessible, and culturally appropriate provides greater economic opportunity for working parents and promotes resiliency in children as they transition from home to new social, cultural, and educational settings outside their homes.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, half of Washington parents faced difficulty finding quality childcare, and more than a quarter of parents quit their jobs or left school because of lack of available and affordable childcare. This has cost Washington’s economy $6.5 billion each year, while inhibiting children’s readiness to navigate settings outside their homes in hard-to-quantify ways.

The pandemic has only increased economic pressures and stresses facing working households and has rendered settings outside of a children’s home increasingly more confusing and difficult to navigate. The impact of a lack of affordable, available, accessible, culturally appropriate childcare to our economy and the health of families and communities has only grown during COVID.

Supporting working parents and the resiliency of their children – both of which are key to building vibrant, flourishing communities – means creating more options that are available, accessible, appropriate, and affordable for their families.

Ensuring that all neighborhoods have safe and healthy places for children and families to thrive and grow is especially critical to children’s social and emotional development through the disruptions, disconnection, and trauma brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Children’s social, emotional, and behavior development doesn’t begin and end with the school day, and the school day in the current virtual setting has proved increasing difficult to foster connection and growth. Gaps or barriers to transitioning between systems and settings – both throughout the day and across a student’s educational experience from birth to career – create opportunity gaps that disproportionately impact foster youth, homeless youth, youth involved in the justice system, low-income youth, and children of color, and that can persist over a lifetime.


The COVID-19 pandemic has made these existing gaps and barriers even more apparent than they already were and has demonstrated how vital holistic support of children’s growth through mentoring, social emotional learning, play-based learning, experiential learning, and creative expression truly is.


Ensuring that no kids fall through the cracks during the pandemic and beyond means supporting and growing programs that provide these holistic, whole-child support for some of our state’s most vulnerable students.