We are committed to a transparent design process as we create this new fellowship. We will aim to update this page with responses to your questions.  Do you have a question that isn't reflected here?  Please contact us at info@waecpfellowship.org.

Who is this fellowship for?

The WA Early Childhood Fellowship Program is focused on increasing the representation and power of people of color, particularly people from Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Pacific Islander communities in early childhood policy spaces. We recognize that within communities of color there are differing levels of privilege. We seek to prioritize fellows from communities most impacted by systemic oppression who lack sufficient representation in policy decision-making in Washington state.


How do you define “Early Childhood”? 

We have a broad definition of early childhood that encompasses family well-being, social/emotional health, cognitive development, physical health, mental health, attachment, child care, education and enrichment for all children pre-natal to age 5.

What does “mid-career” mean?

We define “mid-career” as individuals for whom at least two of the following statements are true:

  • Five or more years of professional experience in early childhood work, policy work, healthcare, social services, community organizing, or a related field.

  • Direct experience in a leadership role with a coalition or advocacy organization

  • At least one year of experience managing a program, project, or team (including your own center or business.)

  • Hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education, early childhood, public policy, social work, public health, or a related degree.


What kind of fellowship is this? What is the time commitment?

While many elements of the fellowship are not yet finalized, our current design intention is that this would be a full-time, two year job placement fellowship, where fellows would be:

  • Employed by a placement organization while being supported by fellowship staff and a cohort of other fellows. 

  • Placed in an organization four days per week (32 hrs/week) at your placement site.

  • Engaged one day (8 hrs/week) in individual and collective professional development, including: access to executive coaching and mentorship, participation in speaker series, training, project-based activities, and pure social connection with others in the cohort.


Is there an education requirement to be a fellow?

No. While a degree or other type of formal education may be a valuable asset for fellows, we also recognize that expertise is gained in many other ways.


When will the fellowship start?

While we are not able to provide an exact time, our current hope is that fellows will begin their placements in the fall of 2022.


What compensation and benefits will fellows receive?

While we are not able to provide specific detail yet, our intention is that fellows will receive a competitive (based on geographic salary data) salary, access to benefits (health care, retirement, paid time off), executive coaching, professional mentorship, and frequent opportunities for professional development and relational networking inside and outside of the cohort of fellows.  


What kind of roles do you envision as “policy” roles within early childhood?

We are specifically focused on public policy and define that as working on adopted laws, rules, and budgets adopted by government entities. Policy specific roles could include policy and fiscal analysis, policy development, coalition work focused on policy and advocacy, leading strategy for community organizing and mobilization, media and communications focused on policy and advocacy, policy research, staff support to policymakers, policymaking, and philanthropic support of organizations working in policy. The fellowship is specifically interested in the coordination of these roles across the public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors.


Where will fellows be placed?

While we have still not identified specific placement sites, our hope is that fellows will be placed within:

  • Both large “established” policy organizations and smaller community-based service organizations who have an interest in expanding their state-based policy/advocacy work.

  • Organizations with demonstrated commitments, cultures, and practices to undo institutional racism and drive continued anti-racist values in both internal and external work.

Where is the fellowship going to be housed?

While this may change in the future, the fellowship is currently pursuing an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit status, initially through a fiscal sponsorship offered by an established values-aligned nonprofit.


What will be the governance structure of the fellowship?

While this may change, our current intention is that the fellowship will be governed by a Board of Directors, beginning with a Founding Board. The Founding Board will be formed in Spring of 2021 and will transition to a longer-term governing Board of Directors (with corresponding Bylaws and clarity re: term lengths) starting in early 2022. The Founding Board will be responsible for the hire of the Fellowship’s staff leadership.


How is the fellowship going to be funded?

The initial seed funding for the design of the WA Early Childhood Policy Fellowship was generously provided by the Perigee Fund. As the fellowship transitions to an official “launch” and begins to recruit placement organizations and fellows, we will need to build a more diverse funding model. We welcome inquiries from potential funders! 


What if I don’t live in Washington state?

That’s fine. The fellowship is open to anyone, but the fellowship is specific to Washington state policy issues; as such fellows would be expected to reside in Washington state and intend to work in Washington once they have completed the fellowship.


What if I am undocumented?  

It is our hope and intention to make this fellowship available to individuals who are undocumented. We are not yet able to fully answer this question as we don’t yet know where the fellowship will live, or if there are administrative or financial barriers we will have to address.


How can I get involved and stay in touch?

We’re so glad you asked! You can fill out our contact form on the website homepage and follow us on Facebook. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info[at]waecpfellowship [dot]org.