This article is from the Fulcrum Foundation’s 2023 Community Report.
Early childhood education programs flourished in the Archdiocese of Seattle during the 2022/23 school year. Dave Mayer, the Fulcrum-funded director of early childhood education at the Office for Catholic Schools (OCS), worked tirelessly to support the 56 early learning programs and their staff and students.
“I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for the Fulcrum Foundation for supporting Dave’s position,” said Martha DeSapio, director of St. Luke School’s preschool program. “It’s so helpful to have a resource at the archdiocesan level to call on when I have questions about early childhood education. Knowing that the archdiocese is supporting us gives me a sense of reassurance. Dave came to our school and spent time with each of our teachers; he’s really dedicated to quality instruction and best practices to meet state licensure requirements.”
Over the past year, OCS and Fulcrum helped four early learning programs receive licensure, allowing them to offer full-day programming for families and meeting a growing need across the archdiocese for accessible childcare. Support was also given to early learning leaders through monthly roundtables, webinars, and professional development training, along with an in-person retreat and a virtual professional development day with over 215 people participating.
In total, Fulcrum disbursed nearly $72,000 in funds from the Early Childhood Education Endowment to over 35 programs for projects ranging from capital improvements to purchasing enrichment materials.
“Thank you so much to Fulcrum and the archdiocese. You are putting your money where your mouth is,” said Martha. “If you are going to value early childhood education, you have to have resources for it. You have shown time and again that early learning is valued at an archdiocesan level and parish level just as much as it is valued at a family and school level. I am very grateful that we’re all in this together to support young learners.”