DCYF Awards $2.4M to Fund Early Learning Programs for Tribal Children

April 3, 2024
Female infant in crib.

Nearly two dozen tribal-serving organizations, including 11 Tribal Nations, are receiving a total of $2.4 million in funds from the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to provide early learning programs to Tribal children.

DCYF distributed the Tribal Early Learning Funds (TELF) to tribes and tribal-serving partners on April 1. The agency awarded 23 applicants, for a requested total of $2,442,536.

TELF is designed to provide resources to ensure early learning programs can best serve Tribal children, ages prenatal to five, in an inclusive and culturally appropriate manner.

“We are incredibly excited to see these dollars being put toward Tribal children and families,” said Tleena Ives, DCYF Director of Tribal Relations. “A connection to one’s community and culture is integral when looking at long-term physical, mental, and emotional health. These funds will go a long way toward our agency’s mission to support and protect children and youth so they may thrive.” 

These funds will serve an estimated 1,453 students and Tribal families across Washington State.

“Bringing [Indigenous] activities and learning opportunities into my child care facility will help in revitalizing the traditional language, foods, and activities into our daily living and bring the traditional lifestyle ways back into our homes that are being lost,” said one Tribal-licensed child care provider.

For information about TELF, visit www.dcyf.wa.gov/tribal-relations.