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If you are seeking child care, call the Child Care Aware of Washington Family Center: 1-800-446-1114

A Brief BrightSpark History Lesson

This time last year, BrightSpark Learning Services (formerly known as Child Care Resources) hit a major evolutionary milestone. We updated our name, logo, and mission on the surface, and on a much deeper level, we shifted the way we look at early learning as a whole. Since our founding, we’ve focused on increasing the accessibility and quality of child care by partnering with community members to identify and meet their needs.

To celebrate our first year of living into our mission with our new name, look, and feel, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at how we’ve grown since 1990. Take a look at how we’ve accomplished over the last 34 years!

February 1990 – BrightSpark (under the name Child Care Resources) was founded. At this time, we functioned primarily as a referral service for families and caregivers in King County. At the time, our mission was “to provide child care referral and related services to parents, employers, and employees.”

1996 – BrightSpark launched several specific programs in direct response to community needs. Those programs included a diversity and inclusion initiative, a hotline specifically for teen parents, and a family peer support program.

1998 – BrightSpark launched the nation’s first searchable online child care provider referral database. 

2000 – BrightSpark created the Family, Friend, & Neighbor (FFN) program to serve caregivers and educators in nontraditional child care spaces.

2004 – BrightSpark updated our mission and vision statements.

  • Mission: To lead efforts to promote equity for children, community stability, and school readiness by: 1) helping families access and choose high quality child and afterschool care, 2) partnering with providers and caregivers to offer excellent care, and 3) advocating for child care solutions that strengthen communities.
  • Vision: Every child has a great start in school and in life.

2006 – BrightSpark received an award for Outstanding Organization/Program from the Seattle Human Services Coalition.

2009 – The FFN team launched the Kaleidoscope Play & Learn program. This program has since grown from a county-wide program to a state-wide program to a nation-wide program!

2016 – BrightSpark grew to serve Pierce county as well as King County.

2018 – BrightSpark launched our Advocacy program to connect community members with legislators and push for more equitable early learning policies.

2023 – BrightSpark officially changed our name from “Child Care Resources.” We also updated our mission statement, which is now to nurture and sustain child-centered, antiracist early learning communities. 

2024 – BrightSpark became the official program administrator for the King County Best Starts for Kids subsidy program. This program provides funding to low-income and houseless families who need support affording child care. 

Whew – it’s been a busy 34 years! We’re so proud of the work we’ve been able to do and the partnerships we’ve forged over the years. We couldn’t be more grateful for the support of our community partners and supporters who have made all of our work possible.

But our work isn’t done yet – high-quality child care is still difficult to afford and access for many families, and many providers are still struggling with a lack of fair compensation and support. As we move forward, we remain committed to building child-centered, antiracist early learning communities where high-quality, accessible child care options are open to everyone.

If you share our passion for early learning and want to join us in supporting children, caregivers, and providers, donate today!