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Building a Community-Wide Early Learning System: White Center at Baseline.

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Author(s): Patricia Del Grosso; Nikki Aikens; Todd Honeycutt; Subuhi Asheer

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Topic: Education (Education)

Keywords: White Center; Early Learning; Kindergarten Readiness

Type: Report

Coverage: Washington


The White Center community is an unincorporated community in King County, Washington, southwest of Seattle and just north of the city of Burien. It comprises two adjacent neighborhoods with similar characteristics: White Center and Boulevard Park. According to U.S. Census data, these neighborhoods contain 32,000 residents, including 2,500 children under age 5. These neighborhoods are rich in cultural and ethnic diversity, and many residents report a strong sense of community. At the same time, substantial proportions of young children face significant challenges--such as poverty, living with a single parent, and limited English language skills--that put them at greater risk of being unprepared for kindergarten in comparison to their peers throughout King County.

The report examines findings in three areas: (1) the early care and education service delivery system in White Center at baseline, including the quality of licensed child care; (2) the WCELI planning process; and (3) the community's goals, expectations, and concerns about WCELI implementation. We highlight the main findings in each of these areas.