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.
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.
We understand the backgrounds of our children. We’re only in their lives for a moment in time. Hopefully, they will develop from this experience. Great work is happening here. Our children are shown that we care for them. That we’ll be there for them.”
I’m grateful for all that staff has done for me and the girls and I feel we are much stronger now and in a better place emotionally than when we started here at the ELC. ”
I really appreciate all of you, and Wellspring as a whole, for your help. Lately, you have alleviated a lot of my stressful days!”
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.
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
Kids prepared for success in Kindergarten
Students enrolled annually
Meals served to children