Connect with us


EvCC Board: Don’t outsource college’s Early Learning Center

UPDATE (Dec. 1, 2021) — KING 5 reports: Everett Community College pauses on changes to Early Learning Center after parents voice concern — On Tuesday, the college sent a letter saying that it would “temporarily pause any action on program closure at this time.” That, college leadership said, would give them the opportunity to evaluate the possibility of a more permanent source of funding for the program. The college previously said it wants to contract with the local YMCA for services. Kelly Shepherd serves as the chair of the Everett YMCA board of directors. She also serves on the board of Everett Community College. “There is a huge conflict of interest,” said Stephanie Doyle, a union representative for teachers at the ELC.


The following is from WFSE Local 1020:

EVERETT (Nov. 29, 2021) — The Early Learning Center (ELC) on the Everett Community College campus is in danger of being handed over to an outside contractor that will operate it as a limited-service daycare center, an unnecessary change that is contrary to the interests of the college and families that depend on the center.

This decision was made without any negotiations with representatives of the Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28, which represents ELC staff, and was enacted behind closed doors by the outgoing college president, who has already announced her departure at the end of 2021. This decision would end many educational programs and support services for low-income families and result in the loss of dozens of union jobs offering fair pay, decent benefits and job security.

TAKE A STAND — The Snohomish & Island County Labor Council and other supporters of the ELC staff and the services they provide will gather on the EvCC campus inside the Jackson Center beside Gray Wolf Hall at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30 — prior to the EvCC Board of Trustees 5 p.m. meeting via Zoom — to urge the Board to table this proposal and commence negotiations with WFSE Local 1020 to discuss options other than outright closure. All are invited to join elected officials and representatives of SICLC trade unions at this 4:30 p.m. protest. Also please sign this petition in support of the ELC and its employees and services.

For years, the trained staff at the ELC have been helping break the systemic barriers to a better life for hundreds of families in Snohomish County by providing quality educational programming for children, while their parents earn degrees or certifications at EvCC. These programs are more important than ever, as people continue to struggle with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ELC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the association that sets high professional standards for early education programs. Nearly all of the ELC’s lead teachers have earned Bachelor’s degrees or higher. All of the staff have been on the job 5 years or longer; some have 15+ years of service. Equally important, the ELC partners with multiple campus academic programs to provide required internship and practicum hours for students, collaborations that would be jeopardized if the ELC is turned into a daycare center.

Here are just a few of the benefits the ELC provides for student-parents across Snohomish County:

  • Enrollment in ECEAP (Early Childhood Educational Assistance Program), a state-funded program providing individualized education and coordination of health services for low-income families.
  • Access to higher education. Because the ELC is located right on campus, low-income parents have a chance to earn credentials leading to improved career opportunities, thanks to such accredited programs as CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents in School).
  • High-quality educational enrichment. ELS’s preschool services include individualized curriculum; quarterly screenings to track children’s development; a social-emotional learning focus using the nationally recognized Second Step curriculum; violence prevention education; and programs on nutrition education, reading preparation, science-based activities and math studies.

For all these reasons, we support an immediate halt to the sacrifice of the Early Learning Center and ask that negotiations be scheduled with WFSE/AFSCME representatives. We request full transparency and stakeholder input, so that the college and the Snohomish County community can be part of an informed decision-making process regarding ELC’s future and the families served by this outstanding program.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!