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Seattle Preschool Program Wins Second National Gold Medal for High-Quality, Accessible Early Learning Programming 

Seattle – For the sixth year, the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) has received national recognition for high-quality preschool programming. The award was presented by CityHealth and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University for Seattle’s publicly funded preschools, which include SPP, Seattle’s Pathway program, and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. This is the second year in a row the SPP has received a gold medal rating. Seattle was one of 22 cities, out of 75 rated by CityHealth, to receive a gold medal award for high-quality, accessible preschool programming this year. 

The honors stem from an annual, national report released by NIEER that rates how 75 of the largest U.S. cities are leading on policies that address health and well-being, including 10 standards for high-quality, accessible pre-K. Between 2018 and 2021, SPP received silver medal awards from City Health. With ongoing improvements to the program, including new dual-language classrooms, SPP received its first gold award in 2022. The SPP currently serves almost 2,000 children. Enrollment is now open for 2023-2024 SPP classes. 

“The award-winning Seattle Preschool Program continues to do life-changing work in our city, setting our youngest learners up for success in school,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “Embracing our One Seattle values of collaboration and innovation, the Department of Education and Early Learning has shown a commitment to working in partnership with early-learning educators across the city to close opportunity gaps and help every child reach their full potential. I encourage all Seattle families with 3- and 4-year-old children to apply to SPP and start their kids on a pathway to a bright future.” 

“I’m so proud of the work Seattle has done to set the standard for what early childhood learning can do for families,” said Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Director of the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning, which administers the City’s preschool program. “I want to thank all our SPP providers and my staff at DEEL for their work making high-quality preschool programs available to our city’s early learners, to get them ready for kindergarten and a lifetime of learning.” 

The Seattle Preschool Program is funded by the 2018 Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise (FEPP) Levy and is an integral component in the City’s strategy to eliminate race-based opportunity gaps in educational outcomes. Research shows that children who attend high-quality preschool programs have better academic and life outcomes and are more likely to have better grades, graduate, attend college, and have better mental and physical health. Currently, 73% of SPP families enrolled this year are from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. 

Visit or call 206-386-1050 for more information or to apply to the Seattle Preschool Program.  

Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is to transform the lives of Seattle children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education.