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Building a Community-Wide Early Learning System: East Yakima at Baseline.

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Author(s): Todd Honeycutt; Kimberly Boller; Diane Paulsell; Subuhi Asheer

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Topic: Education (Education)

Keywords: Early Learning; Kindergarten Readiness; East Yakima

Type: Report

Coverage: Washington


The East Yakima community is a neighborhood on the east side of Yakima, a city of about 84,000 in central Washington. According to U.S. Census data, East Yakima has 28,303 residents, of which 11 percent are children aged 5 years or younger. Nearly two-thirds of the residents are Hispanic or Latino, and more than half speak a language other than English at home. The population has a high rate of poverty and low educational attainment, with more than half of residents over age 25 not having completed high school. Even when faced with these hardships, the families in East Yakima are described as hardworking and dedicated to the health and well-being of their children. At the same time, substantial proportions of young children face significant challenges that put them at greater risk of being unprepared for kindergarten in comparison to their peers throughout Washington State.

The report examines findings in three areas: (1) the early care and education service delivery system in East Yakima at baseline, including the quality of licensed child care; (2) the East Yakima planning process; and (3) the communityĆ¢ s goals, expectations, and concerns about Ready by Five implementation. We highlight the main findings in each of these areas.