Announcing Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Awards

We are very excited to announce 24 awardees to expand or establish new Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups across King County. With a total investment of $1.7 million over three years, these awards to community-based organizations will support play groups that promote positive and healthy outcomes for young children and support parents and family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregivers.

A Play & Learn group participant

Congrats to all Kaleidoscope Play & Learn awardees!

Atlantic Street Center
Vashon Youth and Family Services
Chinese Information Services Center
Sisters in Common
Children’s Home Society
SW Youth and Family Services
Greenplay NW
Birth to Three Developmental Center
Luther Memorial
World Relief
First Five Years and Beyond
Horn of Africa
India Association of WA
Stay and play
White center CDA
Center for Human Services
Children’s Therapy Center
City of Tukwila
Family Works
Denise Louie

For a full list of awardee information, including award amounts, go to the Best Starts for Kids awards database and filter by the Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Awards strategy. (If awards are not there yet, they will be added soon!)

We visited a number of Play & Learn groups hosted by Chinese Information Services Center (CISC), an awardee of this funding. We heard directly from group facilitators, including Mabel Kwong, a CISC Play & Learn Group Coordinator. See groups in action in the video below (warning- lots of cute kids!):


Hueiling Chan, CISC Program Director and Case Management Clinical Director, shared what this Best Starts funding means to them:

For the last 15 years, we have seen the impact of Kaleidoscope Play and Learn not only on immigrant and refugee children but also their parents and caregivers. We are delighted that with the support of Best Starts, we can expand Kaleidoscope Play and Learn and work with families residing in King County Housing Authority communities.

These Best Starts awards are part of our Community-Based Parenting and Peer Supports strategy which invests in community-based programs to decrease isolation, increase social connections within communities, and improve access to resources for families and caregivers. These awards also seek to provide families and caregivers with information about health, safety, child development and social-emotional well-being. You can learn more about Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups in this earlier blog post. 

A mother and daughter having fun at a Spanish speaking Play & Learn group

Supporting Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) Caregivers

The newly funded Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups include 15 new groups and 9 existing groups. For some organizations like Children’s Home Society and SW Youth and Family Services, expanding Play & Learn groups means play group facilitators are parents and former program participants. Some new Play & Learn groups are new in their approach. Greenplay NW in the Maple Valley area will be offering the very first outdoor, nature-based Play & Learn group. And some new Play & Learn groups will reach new families and languages, such as World Relief whose new play group will specifically serve Afghani families.

Kaleidoscope Play and Learn is a model developed by Child Care Resources. Best Starts is excited to partner with Child Care Resources and benefit from their leadership and guidance. Lisa Conley, the Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Program Coordinator at Child Care Resources shares her thoughts:

Child Care Resources is excited to partner with the 24 organizations funded to bring Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups to new and more King County families. We are grateful to Best Starts for Kids and King County voters to support several hundred more families as they prepare our youngest residents for a great start in school and life. In collaboration with families, we are building healthy, happy, and resilient communities. We are stronger together!

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