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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Tiny Tots Development Center Celebrates Opening Of New Childcare Facility in Othello

Tiny Tots CEO Angelia Hicks-Maxie (front row center) is joined by members of DEEL’s Early Learning team (L to R front row): Janet Thomas, Delia Urrea, Early Learning Deputy Director Leilani Dela Cruz, Jenny Choi and Melissa Bookwalter (back row right); DEEL Director Dwane Chappelle (back row center right); HSD CFO Joseph Kasperski (back row center left); and Kevin Mundt, HSD (back row left). Photo courtesy of DEEL.

Last week, Tiny Tots Development Center celebrated the completion of their new development center facility in Othello with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The facility, which was supported by a $1.5 million award through HSD’s Child Care Bonus Program and $900,000 in capital funding from the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL), creates 80 new childcare slots including:

• Two preschool classrooms with capacity for 20 children each

• Two toddler classrooms with capacity for 14 children each

• Two infant rooms with capacity for six children each

The Child Care Bonus program funds the creation of newly licensed capacity (infant care to preschool) ensuring at least 20% of capacity is reserved for children from families with incomes less than 80% of the area median.

“There is absolutely no way that Tiny Tots would have been able to raise the $1.5 million for the building construction without this (Child Care Bonus) program,” said Angelia Hicks-Maxie, CEO of Tiny Tots Development Center. “Childcare programs, especially those who are led by leaders in the BIPOC community are often not at the table when it comes to funds like the Child Care Bonus program – I was impressed that we were invited to sit at the table and share what our needs were for the project in an authentic manner. We were never asked to compromise our dreams to chase the funds.”

In 2019, DEEL awarded Tiny Tots with $900K in capital funding through the Seattle Preschool Program Provider Facilities Fund for a new Tiny Tots site as part of the Othello Square development project. This funding was through the 2018 voter-approved Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy to support expansion of two new classrooms for the Seattle Preschool Program. The first Seattle Preschool Program classroom will open this September for the 2022-2023 school year.

“We know that investments in high-quality early learning facilities are key to giving more Seattle children an equitable start,” said DEEL Director Dwane Chappelle. “Tiny Tots is a longtime partner with the City of Seattle through both our Seattle Preschool Program and Child Care Assistance Program, and we are thrilled to celebrate the opening of this beautiful facility that will help more preschoolers in the surrounding community be kindergarten ready.”

The new Tiny Tots Development Center in Othello is a part of a larger development that also includes Seattle Children’s Hospital’s new Odessa Brown Clinic. The parcel that contains the clinic and childcare center also has a subsidized and market rate housing development.

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