Snohomish County Early Learning Centers Receives $4 Million to Expand

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EVERETT — Five early learning centers are expanding in Everett, Lynnwood and Bothell, adding more than 220 daycare openings in Snohomish County.

Early learning centers have collectively received more than $4 million this year from the state Department of Commerce Early learning facilities program. The money is earmarked for new construction or major renovations.

Evergreen Recovery Centers, a nonprofit that helps people recover from addiction, received $1 million. The organization is building a new center for recovering mothers and their children.

“We’ve been planning this for almost 20 years,” said CEO Linda Grant.

The center will have large apartments for mothers of several children and an early learning center with five classrooms. Mothers receive parenting and mental health counseling during treatment. The learning center will accept up to 50 children.

“It’s a great opportunity to help out the whole family,” Grant said. “…Our goal is to create the best possible experience for moms who are starting over in life.”

The nonprofit is in the final stages of licensing the Evergreen Manor Family Center on Summit Avenue in Everett. Grant plans to open the 27,500 square foot center in May and complete the project by July 2023.

Greater Trinity Academy in Everett also received $1 million. The school, which welcomes children from the age of 2 and a half, offers programs for preschool, kindergarten preparation and advanced kindergarten.

Executive Director Paul A. Stoot Sr. said most students come from low-income households. The nonprofit school plans to double its capacity, adding 75 openings to its early learning programs.

Greater Trinity Academy plans to construct a three-story building with an early learning center on the first floor. The second and third floors will have up to 35 apartments for low-income families, Stoot said. The early learning center will include a cafeteria, library and performing arts classroom.

Evergreen Recovery Centers received a $1 million state grant to build an early learning center at its new facility. (Evergreen Recovery Centers)

“Our main goal is to see how we can contribute to these underprivileged homes and these BIPOC children, and give them a unique academic and life experience that they would not have had anywhere else in the world,” Stoot said.

Volunteers of America Western Washington received nearly $970,000. The non-profit organization plans to build a neighborhood center in Lynnwood, with two Early Childhood Education and Care Program classrooms, known as ECEAP, accommodating up to 60 pre-K students. VOAWW currently has 160 students in its pre-K from Everett, Monroe and Sultan.

“Our Neighborhood Center will be a 40,000 square foot community resource center and will provide valuable services to residents of South Snohomish County,” COO Brian Smith told the Herald. “We are continuing our fundraising campaign for this project and expect to begin construction in late 2022 for an early 2024 completion date.”

Tiny Treasures Daycare received $625,000 to add 61 daycare openings in Everett. Anandan Academy in Bothell received $500,000.

“I am truly grateful,” said Anandan Academy director Naina Narayan. “I was a little nervous, like, ‘How am I going to make this happen?’ but my dream is coming true.

Narayan started the academy about five years ago. After working in a daycare, Narayan wanted to open an outdoor preschool where children would spend more time with nature. The grant allows Anandan Academy to more than double its current enrollment and eventually accept up to 25 children.

“We have a lot of dreams about this project,” Narayan said.

The Machinists Institute received money for minor renovations or pre-development, but it is unclear where its early learning center would be located. The institute received just under $200,000 for a location in King or Snohomish County, according to a list of recipients of grants from the Ministry of Trade.

Commerce and the State Department of Children, Youth, and Families awarded $43.2 million in grants across the state. The money went to 69 projects.

“This investment in our state’s facilities will help communities ensure that safe, secure, and stable early learning opportunities are available to all,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said, according to the department’s news release. “This is critical for an equitable recovery of the state’s economy and families, and is critical to ensuring success for children.”

Katie Hayes: katie.hayes@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @misskatiehayes.

Katie Hayes is a member of the Report for America body and writes about issues affecting the working class for the Daily Herald.

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