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Early
Learning

Children experiencing homelessness absorb the trauma. We can help.

Children are like sponges. When their families are in crisis, they soak up the fear and stress around them. Food insecurity. Housing instability. Medical concerns. Domestic violence.

Wellspring’s Early Learning Center (ELC) is the only program in Seattle committed to exclusively serving the needs of children, ages one through five, who are experiencing the traumatic effects of homelessness.

Preparing children for kindergarten and beyond

Every child deserves a successful start in school and life. Along with a safe, nurturing, and culturally responsive environment, Wellspring’s ELC provides nutritious meals and on-site health services through a partnership with Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic.

With one teacher for every five children, learning and play activities are tailored to meet the developmental and behavioral needs of each child. These promote creativity, problem solving, social interaction and a sense of accomplishment. Favorites include movement and music, art projects, story reading, neighborhood walks, and field trips.

Trauma-informed care

Two small girls in a preschool playground, watering small plants.

Every family’s journey is different. But many of the children we serve have endured multiple layers of trauma. Some have been expelled repeatedly from other programs due to behavioral challenges. As part of our no-expulsion approach to care, our staff are available to work with children individually—in or outside of the classroom.

Our ELC teachers work alongside caregivers, therapists, medical professionals, and family support specialists to help our students make sense of their experiences and learn healthy ways to express their feelings and emotions.

Enrolling Students in Wellspring’s ELC

Wellspring ELC provides specialized early learning and family support to 51 children each year. Thanks to a mix of private and public funding, we are able to provide scholarships to assist families with covering the cost of tuition. Spots fill up quickly. Additional funding would allow us to open a fifth classroom to serve more vulnerable children in our community.

We welcome current and prospective parents, case workers and other professionals to contact our family support specialists with enrollment or other questions by calling 206-826-3025 or emailing ELC@wellspringfs.org.

Intake Process

Our intake appointments generally take 1.5 to 2 hours. Please be sure you bring the following verification with you.

Early intervention for future success

100%
Kids prepared for success in Kindergarten
51
Students enrolled annually
7381
Meals served to children
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